Idea Of Happiness Idea Of Happiness


Van She Van SheIdea Of Happiness

7.6 / 10

It's time to show the world that all these months of hunger in order to get slim for the summer have been worth it. Get your sunglasses out, take advantage of the happy hours (mine's a Pina Colada, or make that two), and imagine yourself in the Caribbean. Van She want to abuse your tanned behind to give you a good synth-pop and digital calypso spanking. Their debut album “V” (Modular, 2008) went by virtually unnoticed in Europe, overwhelmed as it was with the electronic pop wave coming from Down Under at the time. Four years ago, beyond the borders of their home country (where these gents are national heroes, topping all the charts and selling out each and every concert they play), Van She had a hard time getting out of the shadow of the likes of Cut Copy, The Presets, and Empire Of The Sound, to export their songs. Like “Dystopia” (Siberia/Inertia, 2007), the first album by Mignight Juggernauts, and Bag Raiders, the Sydney band remained a well-kept secret to most of human kind. Although it has to be said, the fact that they tried to play so many different sounds at the time, confusing with their eclecticism rather than pleasing, didn't help, either. But now, all that has changed. Their second full-length has more personality, and holds enough hits to make it one of the indisputable soundtracks of the coming months.

They polished up their sound, keeping things simple. And, what's more important, thanks to these eleven tracks mixed in California by Tony Heffner ( M83, Beck), the band have found their space, shoving aside the shoegaze and dream-pop flirtations that didn't do them any favours four years ago. Though, on “Tears”, Nick Routledge’s voice is more affected than ever, obviously with Friendly Fires' Ed Macfarlane as his Messianic reference, the rest of of “Idea Of Happiness” moves between electro-Caribbean steel drums (especially on the trident formed by “Idea Of Happiness”, “Calypso” and “Jamaica”, and the instrumental “Coconuts”) and fluorescent synth-pop ( “Sarah” and “You’re My Rescue”), with the sole purpose of giving us some shiny feel-good hits for the summer. Moreover, they're fantastically produced, and there are enough potential singles on there for them to be able to prolong this album to the next summer, that is, if the Mayan apocalyptic prophecies don't turn out to be true. This time, nothing stands in the way of success outside Australia.

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