One Happy Island - One Happy Island

Anthony Page 20/07/2010

Rating: 4/5

Quirky, whimsical indie is often, for a lot of people, a total no no. The sort of jangly, ramshackled type of thing that moves too close to the wrong side of twee (if there is a right side) is often the sort of stuff people use to dismiss indie; music made by people with out of tune guitars, ukuleles and simple, childlike drum kits. If you're one of these folk then One Happy Island, from Boston Mass, are not for you. Mores the pity, but you'll almost certainly hate them.

For those who, like myself, enjoy a bit of twee, One Happy Island may just be the album (and band) you're looking for to soundtrack your summer. Even if the sun gets replaced by rain, the wonderfully catchy, innocent pop songs found on the record will fill your heart with the joys of summer. Hints of Dick Dale-esque surf guitar and Beach Boys sunkissed pop flow through the album like the morning sun gleaming through your window.

Playful lyrics, tone and arrangements akin to They Might Be Giants and The B-52s are also at work here. One Happy Island though are most connected in sound to fellow American quirky indie-poppers The Smittens, whose The Coolest Thing About Love album is a sadly ignored pop classic. Let's not have One Happy Island go the same way though, even if the more serious souls may be tempted to dismiss them as a twee joke. Any band that can write songs that make Belle and Sebastian sound like Leonard Cohen has a place in my heart. If you own one of them blood-pumping organs as well chances are they'll find a place in yours too.

Release date: Out now