Humble Fuzz Fresh From Canada
Happy Pop Family, the sophomore effort of Canada’s “leading purveyors of mid-fi anthemic bedroom pop” Monomyth is a follow up to their debut Saturnalia Regalia! that was released under Mint Records. Happy Pop Family sees guitarists Josh Salter and Seamus Dalton add on a new rhythm section for the 11 track LP, with multi-instrumentalist Scott Grundy taking up percussion while Andrew Mazerolle plays the bass. The newly fleshed out foursome tracked Happy Pop Family with producer Mike Wright in February of 2015 over at Montreal’s Drones Club. Mint Records claims Happy Pop Family has “tweaked and refined the sonic palette of their 2014 debut Saturnalia Regalia. The resulting batch of songs is imbued with an almost Blake-ian wonder, delicately balancing like Charlie Chaplin on a taut guitar cable between innocence and experience.” While name dropping The Tramp might be a stretch, the sentiment rings relatively true.
Warping together a handful of different pop sounds (bedroom, lo-fi, slacker and so on), Happy Pop Family is aptly named and sets the stage for the album with “Aloha.” “Aloha” is a track that tackles isolation and strains it through a lo-fi lens. As a first song, “Aloha” comes off humbly, jangly and sweet before “Puppet Creek” takes over with more emotive delivery and clamoring, childlike synth with a building percussion to run parallel to it. “Re: Lease Life (Place 2 Go)” sees a bit of Gin Blossoms jangle, everyman lyrics and a pensive chorus that ties it all together while lyrically it addresses the monotony of wandering around town doing chores for your band.
“Drinking in Bed in E” maintains the riffyness and pumped up, jaunty polish with some metallic edging. “Cool Blue Hello” is distinctively ’90s, complete with higher pitched vocals, a self-deprecating whimper with lovelorn lyrics and a sweet melody to throw the listener off its scent. “Falling in Love” gives things a surf-spin, sounding like a precursor to a Beach Fossils track while outlining a humdrum relationship that seemingly provides comfort to its narrator. Either “Falling in Love” is the sentimental ode of a slacker or a morose commentary on the unremarkableness of most relationships.
“High on Sunshine” takes on shimmering tambourines and a Ben Kweller-reminscient innocence, sans the snark. “Go Somewhere” might be the best, sexiest track on the album. Slightly trippy and mostly mysterious, “Go Somewhere” rambles through a simple yet arresting melody sifted through spacey, lo-fi production with an Apples in Stereo feel. The track ends with a stunted solo before quickly dying out in probably the best way it could. The brevity lends additional weight rather than dragging things out for another verse.
Another cog in the dreamy noise machine, Monomyth’s Happy Pop Family doesn’t particularly stand out, but it doesn’t need to in order to make the perfect point. There’s a subtle nuance and dreariness that’s packaged in such an endearing and thoughtful way that it could make even the most steadfast philosophy major ponder reality in a new light.