So here we go once again with another year, as we deliver to your patient ears the first full Recommender-ed artist of 2012. It’s a fantastic way to kick off what we hope will be another year of superb discoveries, as this new duo have all the perfect ingredients for our readership. You come to these pages for quality cuts and today we serve up a dish as tasty as any. A Michelin starter for 2012 – what else would you expect? If all goes well we predict for this duo to be just about everywhere, as they tick so many of the required boxes, even the really, really difficult boxes.
During a recent correspondence Happy Hunting explained their biographical details to us, uncovering that they are in fact brother and sister, Jana and Alex Tyrrell, from Wembley, in North West London. Alex does all the production and plays keys and guitars, whilst Jana plays piano and synths whilst delivering what will surely be one of the finest voices you will hear this year. That’s not to say that the talents aren’t pretty equally shared around, as both the music and vocals are exceptionally decent. Electronica pop, of the kind you might associate with the left-sided Bjork, but that’s perhaps an over-used comparison. There’s also an RnB tinge to the vocals on occasion, in the same bright way those Scandinavians, Grenades For The Wall, deliver their alternative pop songs.
This is perhaps most on show with This Love, a pop song that lacks pretension, always feeling like it’s aimed at grown ups. It’s a great introduction to Jana’s vocals too as she ushers you into the room with real confidence. It’s almost a belly dance of a routine, hypnotizing the listener from the outset. Perhaps this is understandable with Jana’s history as a professional dancer, although, ahem, we assure you it’s of the highly skilled kind, with a degree in dance and everything. Although it’s fair to say that her impossibly deadly looks will also indeed have the boys stretching to air their collars at every turn.
Immorality brings us those Bjork touches, mostly from Jana’s voice, which has similarities to our favourite Icelandic pop queen, although this is without the accented inflection. Perhaps if Bjork came from Wembley? That link soon fades with all of the other tracks on their self-released Pitchblack EP from last November, but their path is always one walked by alternative pop music. The tune starts with her singing a few bars that remind us of Don’t Be Light, by Air, whether deliberate or otherwise, but either it’s certainly attractive. Behind her, we find Alex pushing the experimentalism a little further, with a beat that seems as erratic as a butterfly’s feet landing more randomly throughout, as echoes and swirls surround the tune. This is pop without an obvious melody or standard song structure but it never disappears up it’s own ass or over-indulges. It has atmosphere, balance and beauty, like a lot of the best alternative electronica out there. The title track, Pitchblack, tries to dive a little deeper, so far in fact that the light seems too dimmed to see anymore. It’s another example of their mature song craft, with delicately-placed samples juxtaposed by a more industrial beat.
Overall this duo are setting the bar very high at such an early, self-produced stage, and that has to be the talent that’s driving this. Alex informs us that they’re finishing off the next single, called Tower Of Fools, which they hope to release in early February. They’re also readying a full band for their live shows and dealing with management, so we can expect to see a lot more from them in the coming weeks. We’re confident that labels will be all over them once things start to complete for them. Their ability to balance the magic of alternative pop whilst maintaining a broader appeal makes them a tidy proposition. We will let you know when we hear more about the coming releases, but in the mean time we couldn’t have wished to uncover a better act to star in our first recommendation of 2012. For both us and indeed the band, we think this is a case of “start as you mean to go on”. (MB)
HAPPY HUNTING – IMMORALITY
HAPPY HUNTING – THIS LOVE
HAPPY HUNTING – PITCHBLACK