We’re taking a look ahead to that show, which has tickets available here, with an introduction to Happy Accidents, and we’ll also have a similar article on Muncie Girls tomorrow.
Happy Accidents consists lead singer and guitarist Rich Mandell, bassist and vocalist Neil Mandell and drummer and vocalist Phoebe Cross. The London-based band, via Southampton, are fresh from a tour of Europe and released their album You Might Be Right back in July. We roped in Happy Accidents fan Sam Wilson – follow him on Twitter and check out his music here – to talk about them.
I’m pretty confident that I’m not alone in saying that Happy Accidents only came onto my radar recently, following the release of their Grimes’ cover California. Whilst by no means a huge Grimes fan, there was something about the track that intrigued me enough to want to investigate the three-piece further.
Following the familiar contemporary path of new music discovery (Google search>Facebook page>YouTube Channel>Spotify), I arrived at the debut release from the London-based indie-punk trio.
You Might Be Right is an unquestionably strong first album, at its best when driven with high energy and grit by guitarist and lead vocalist Rich Mandell. Common themes of social anxiety and frustration run throughout as Mandell paints a picture of an isolated character separated, from his perspective at least, from the crowd “I don’t inhabit the same wavelength that you would like me to do.”
Tracks like Leaving Parties Early will strike a chord with anyone who has fake smiled their way through an unbearable social situation, “though I smile all the while I’m just wondering how long before I can leave.” Whilst Chameleon bemoans social hierarchy, “If who you know dictates what you achieve I’ll leave ‘em be.” Check out the video for the former below.
Much of the band’s promotional photos, and indeed the arrangement of their newest track, place their female drummer and backup vocalist, Phoebe Cross, front and centre. However, the album is undoubtedly the frontman’s show. The thoughtful and well-crafted lyrics are underpinned by aggressive and energetic guitar which really define Happy Accidents’ sound. The gritty tone of the lead vocals and guitars successfully take the polish off the overall effect to ensure that it never becomes bland.
This is an album that has retained a regular place on my Spotify since I first heard it and I’m excited to see what follows. Whilst it by no means breaks particularly new grounds, it is a genuinely interesting addition to a club that is overcrowded with mediocrity.
With these words in mind we spoke to Rich from Happy Accidents this week to get the lowdown on the band and their music.
GR: Hi Rich, thanks for talking to us! What’s the backstory, how did you Happy Accidents get together?
Rich: “I was playing acoustic stuff and got bored of playing quiet songs on my own. Phoebe’s old band broke up around the same time, and so we put it all together. Me and Neil are brothers and have played in bands together since we were smaller, so that made sense too. I don’t think there was ever a conscious decision to start being in bands, we’re all just really into music, so that’s what we ended up doing.”
GR: Which three words would you use to describe your music?
“Upbeat, awkward, noisy.”
How would you define yourselves as a band?
Rich: “There’s not much about us that’s premeditated, so everything that comes out is just what comes naturally when the three of us get together. Maybe that’s what makes us unique? Or maybe it’s what makes us exactly the same as everyone else? The jury’s out on that one.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
Rich: “The running theme through most of our music so far has been super upbeat sounding songs with lyrics about being down and worrying. I think what influences us to write is the chance to get something positive from all of these negative experiences. It’s cathartic, but it’s also very fun. It’s fun and stressful in equal measures, like a big puzzle
GR: Which bands have been your strongest musical influences?
“I think recently, The Thermals, Courtney Barnett and Television are the main ones for me.”
GR: What have you got coming up for the rest of the year and into 2017?
We have some cool stuff planned for next year but nothing we can talk about yet! Soz. We just want to keep having the opportunity to make things; and then present those things to people who might want to hear/ see them!”
Thank you to Rich for taking the time to speak with us, and thank you to Sam Wilson for an introduction to Happy Accidents’ music.
If you’re around on Wednesday then come and join us at The Underworld and see Happy Accidents for yourself. Tickets are available here.