So here we go, the first in a steady stream of shortish album reviews, and we'll start off by heading to Sweden and a band that we featured back in October. 'Honeymilk', for those of you who don't remember, are from Stockholm and are a duo with a likeable stream of indie pop releases behind them, always based around warm melodies and lyrics.
'I Want You To Be Very Happy' is an album which has been in the production for some time now, and there's a fair few singles out there on streaming services. Clearly this is an approach that many bands are taking now, and whether it dilutes the impact of an album release I'm not entirely sure, but actually 'I Want You To Be Very Happy' has 9 'single quality' songs on it, so their approach is entirely understandable . The title is, interestingly enough, taken from a sarcastic quote which Donald Trump made to Hilary Clinton in a presidential debate, which I like quite simply because it seems such an innocent title until you know who made it. And actually whilst the album is on the surface a cheery Indie Pop album with bright, likeable tunes, there appears to be a darker undercurrent sitting beneath many of the tracks.
There are so many well crafted songs on this album its difficult to pick out the highlights. 'The Nothing New' sets the tone, but then the melodies really start taking shape in 'Trip', whilst 'Don't We All' has this lovely trippy beat which carries the song forward. We covered 'Havslaten' back in October last year, with harmonised vocals and trademark warm melodic vocals. 'Private Number' takes the pace down with the most delicious of tunes, whilst 'Coming Home' is a really well written track opening with a mournful piano theme, and leading to a melancholy and thoughtful lyrically led song. The album finishes with the brilliantly named 'Time Will Kill You', a psychedelic swirl of guitar, and a darn clever 'slow down'.
I guess the most important thing to say is that 'I Want You To Be Very Happy is an album packed full of good tunes, which means that it's really easy to listen to. I think i saw it described as Garage Pop, and maybe it is, but it's Garage Pop written and produced to a pretty big scale. It's rare too to find an album where all tracks are so consistently strong, maybe Finnish band 'Delay Trees' achieved it with their album 'Let Go' last year, and it is true to say that i do find myself having more of an emotional connection to Delay Trees' than 'Honeymilk'. But 'I Want You To Be Very Happy' is a lovely album, and the 'Honeymilk' duo write such good songs, and I have no doubt this will be really well received by everyone who takes a listen.
Nordic Music Review 8/10