Alex Gibbon gives us the low-down on Leeds based four pieced Mega Happy as a prelude to the release of their single ‘I Sit Next to an Empty Seat’.
It’s still early days for promising Leeds-based four-piece Mega Happy, yet with only their fifth release they have attained a striking depth of maturity with a cohesive sound that many artists who are albums deep into their discography only flirt with. True to the forlornness of its title, ‘I Sit Next to an Empty Seat’ offers up a bittersweet slice of melancholia-dripped guitar pop. Think Ian Curtis’ poignant drawl paired with the charm of an album track from a burgeoning Two Door Cinema Club.
From the opening, punchy bass guitar licks, a joyous toe-tapping energy is laid as the song’s foundation. However, it’s not long before the band’s broody introspection comes to the fore with an opening lyrical call that is as defiant as it is resentful. “You said I’d never change,” the singer recalls, “but I’ve changed, I’ve changed, I’ve changed, I’ve changed, I’ve changed.”
“it’s not long before the band’s broody introspection comes to the fore”
In the chorus, simmering high-hats crescendo to vigorous strumming which soon gives way to a stirring interplay between the lead and the rhythm guitars. Paired with images of “Armley’s empty streets” and “stained bed sheets”, the song captures the pain and the beauty of lovelorn reminiscence – a masterful blend of heartache and nostalgia.
This aside, the track truly blossoms when its last third is handed over completely to the instrumentalists. Reaching its conclusion with a dynamic flare and a score of swirling guitar riffs, even with a cheery triple-clap thrown in along the way, the single thrives with an anthemic sound that would rouse even the most dispassionate of listeners.
“the song captures the pain and the beauty of lovelorn reminiscence – a masterful blend of heartache and nostalgia“
Their latest release may have the key components of a bread-and-butter indie banger but Mega Happy have created something that is more grown-up than the genre of adolescent anguish and teenage rebellion. Being able to develop a seasoned sound while still retaining a youthful vigour is an impressive feat and things can only go up for a budding band who are already beyond their years. Watch this space.