Artist: Miike Snow
Title: Happy To You
Miike Snow began as an idea via Swedish producer Christian Carlsson, producer and keyboardist Pontus Winnberg and American singer-songwriter Andrew Wyatt. The indie side project of studio pros (who have worked side by side with artists such as Mark Ronson and Britney Spears), Miike Snow have materialized magic in their music since day one— a consequence of clear hard work teamed with creative vitality and vision.
Happy To You has the powerful quality of their debut material via soothing robot rock and lyrics to ponder multiple meanings. Miike Snow’s dreamy sound carries beautiful pop sensibility. This music is intimate and Wyatt’s vocals feel like he is clueing you into a secret just between you and him. Really his lyrics are so open to interpretation that secret is conceivably changeable between all of us.
This record beautifully and indirectly alludes to some interesting ideas about the place of this planet Earth. “Archipelago” tells the story of viewing the land from an airplane combined with emotions experienced looking down from above. Connection drawn lyrically between nature’s power juxtaposed with modern human’s vision of a separated identity (“You said there was an ice age 40 000 years ago/ Incidents of road rage pouring on the streets below.”) This is also evident on “The Wave” a crystal-y piano-looped number seeming to be about the power of the ocean— and how you can never turn your back on it.
Strong engagement with more uncomfortable topics like the psychology of breakups appears on “God Help This Divorce” (‘Go to the bar and say semi sexist things/ Taking my tea in silence/Telling strange jokes to myself.’) Through it all Miike Snow’s airy dream-like sound soothes and softens the heart. Comforting emotions in sound build a beautiful window to the world and some not-so-easy shared human experiences.
Drums and other acoustic instruments were recorded at— and good vibes channeled from— an old studio used by ABBA in the 1970s. The record also proclaims use of strings, brass, and woodwinds cohesively woven in with electronic production. They recorded a marching band too, showing up on the percussively powered “Bavarian #1 (Say You Will).” The song hits a peak around the two-minute mark with grinding electro rock’s entrance, bringing to mind clear remix potential for this and the rest of this incredible record.