Shangrila have a knack for making great songs, and their new single “Happy” continues this trend for the Perth band. For the uninitiated, Shangrila are Devvyn Jupp (vocals & guitar), Jackson Macleod (guitar) Ben Ferguson (bass) Dan Harper (drums) and Lyndsay Antica (guitar).
Dreamy at first due to the tone of voice from Devvyn and the smooth instrumentation, I found myself easily drifting off into the melodic guitar world of “Happy”. With a greater sense of seriousness as the song continues, “Happy” lyrically reveals that someone has left or is about to leave, and the dreamy feelgood quality has evolved into an unease (which also happens to sound beautiful). The arrival of stronger drums and greater yearning in Devvyn’s voice crafts more obvious tugs at the heartstrings for me.
Repeating the opening lyric at the chorus plays like a memory being on a loop, and the (truly lovely) vocals seem to be asking for the other person to commit to being with them, even though they’re not “all the things you are”. The ‘are we or aren’t we?’ vibe of uncertainty is more and more apparent instrumentally, and the drums come across like things leading to an eventual point of decision.
“You fell into my arms last night
I got a feeling you set my heart on fire“
I’m fully immersed in “Happy” by the time everything is pared right back at the bridge, and the guitar focus feels as intimate as the moments that the two have presumably shared. The voice coming in and saying if “all we have’s tonight, I’ll stop the sunrise” is pretty damn romantic. And again – ouch – that’s the sound of my heart.
I mused on the chorus’ lyric “Now the world has something and maybe I can stay a little while” and its meaning for awhile. To my mind, something happened that created something new, and for this person it was something that they sorely needed. It’s beautiful but also kind of sad if it’s only fleeting, and having that realisation added another layer to this song for me. It is like this other person has dropped into their reality and arrived with the prospect of a whole new world of possibility… and it may not even happen. Argh. 💔
“Happy” builds up into a peak of decision courtesy of drums, with a palpable stress of not knowing which way this other person’s going to go. It’s a cliffhanger of sorts, with “Happy” ending in a way that sounds like a question mark.
Great band, great song, and a smiling dog in the music video. What’s not to love? Have a listen via YouTube below. If you’re in the area, Four5Nine Bar is hosting the “Happy” release show, with Triggerlip, Tied Down, and King Ibis in tow. More info HERE.