The second act that I have high hopes for in 2011 are Glasgow seven piece, Happy Particles. Formed by members of Remember Remember, they first came to my attention at the tail end of last year, thanks to Halina from the Glasgow Podcart. She suggested I check them out as she thought they were pretty special. I think the phrase she used was something along the lines of “you’re going to spaff when you hear them” and spaff I did.
It was the song ‘Infinite Jet’ that I heard first, having come across a link to download it from RCRD LBL. I must have listened to the tune on repeat an unhealthy number of times, in fact for most of December it was pretty much all I listened to on my way to, and from work. Intermixing elements of shoegaze, prog-rock and even a touch of pop, Happy Particles are a band that excite me a lot, I expect big things for them this year and I’m sure they won’t disappoint.
Would you care to introduce yourself?
We are Happy Particles from Glasgow, Scotland. Steven does guitar and vocals, some occasional drones. James does keyboards, saxophone. Al does guitar and bass. Ricky plays guitar. Gordon is on drums and percussion. Graeme plays bass mostly and sometimes piano.
What inspires the music you make?
Pretty much everything going on in our lives really. Friends. Childhood memories. Other music. Thematically a lot of the little stories are about being slightly dislocated from society in some way, that could be either physically, emotionally or financially. Or event’s described from different points of view at the same time. Some sort of attempt at neutrality of observation is probably the biggest inspiration. I’m always left cold with music (or any other art from) that is really direct and demands specific reactions from the listener/audience.
What artists do you feel that you have an affinity with?
Any other artists who just need to make music/Art to exist, to keep sane. To make something special for the sake of it. I think you can really hear it in peoples music when they are coming from this perspective. Local artists i would point out like this would be, Alec ‘Cheer’ (he made the video for a song of ours called ‘a.m. sky’ but is also a prolific sound artist) . He has released a ridiculous amount of amazing material, quietly for the last few years. Another would be RM Hubbert. He started stripping things back for his solo work, musically and also the actual environment of the show itself, making it more personal. He has started to get more recognition in the last few months which is really exciting because of where it’s all coming from originally, totally humble, stark but mind blowing music. Historically i suppose band’s like ‘Low’, ‘Codeine’ or ‘Red House painters’ would be references, both musically and the fact they had the guts to write and explore their own distinct musical world without fear of not making money or whatever.
For people out there that have never heard of you, why they should they check you out?
I’m not sure really, i don’t think that’s really our job to tell them why. I guess we aren’t really here to sell anything, if you happen to hear us and you like it then that’s amazing. If someone finds our music years from now by accident and it becomes an intimate part of their life then that’s all you can really ask for. When someone finds out about us is pretty meaningless from our point of view, as we can only really write and hope for a bit of luck. Most of the music that has come to be dear to me has been either a happy accident in finding it or the artist is either penniless or dead. Cheery, haha. I think the only thing i could say as a ‘selling point’ is that it is pretty much uncompromised from what we set out to do.
Is it true that you have already recorded an album? When can we expect to see it coming out?
We have recorded 99% of our album. We spent about 9 or 10 days in total on it but spread out over about 7-8 months. So it seems like it has taken us longer than it actually has. We basically are being recorded by a friend (Robin Sutherland) for extremely cheap as we have no financial backing at all. It should be mixed by the end of January and after that we shall just send the whole album out to some labels we are fond of etc. If that fails we might just end up releasing it ourselves but fingers crossed we get a good response.
What do you enjoy more, playing live or being in the studio?
I personally like both when it’s going good but they can be equally horrid experiences. Most of the album was written before we went into the studio, so it was basically painting by numbers for us in there. Having said that, we have had our moment’s of nearly killing each other in the studio and that never happened until that situation came up. It can be very difficult psychologically for all involved, especially if you care so much about the thing, which we all do.
Are there any new up and coming artists that you would recommend I check out?
If you like anything such as ‘Tim Hecker’ or ‘Stars of the Lid’ i would check out a local band called ‘No Comet‘ who just played with us. Findo Gask aren’t new and have in fact split up but i hear they may release their album soon anyway. I’ve heard it and it’s one of the best things that has come out of Scotland in years. So keep and eye out for that. We are all in other bands too so i would shamelessly plug them, Tangles, Stapleton, Remember Remember, Prayer Rug. All amazing obviously ;o)
What can we expect to see and hear from you in 2011?
Our album hopefully, ‘Under Sleeping Waves’. Fingers crossed.
More from Lloyd at Peenko
Happy Particles – ‘Empty Circle’