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Album Review
Happy Accidents

Happy Accidents
by Popstrangers


Review Date
15th December
Reviewed by
Courtney Sanders

Popstrangers released an EP about a year ago to the delight of alternate radio and fans who had seen them on extensive live bouts. ‘Take it to the Grave’ and ‘1000’ (particularly) possessed thoughtful song construction, aggressive nonchalance and, in the Right Hot Right Now stakes, a style marrying English post punkers and Flying Nun noise core artists closer to home. On Happy Accidents Popstrangers have taken the accessible, enthusiastic niche they carved on the aforementioned, removed the pop parameters for an ultimately more satisfying listen – if you bear with it. Good things take time, you know.

With their first EP so eloquently constructed, it seems a somewhat bizarre move to release another rather than a full-length album but alas, here we are. Happy Accidents comes replete with the cornerstones that cemented their self-titled debut. Droning guitars underpin the effeminate vocal of Joel Flyger, who it would seem is simultaneously concerned with matters of the heart and getting on in this crazy Generation Y world. Which is not a bad thing. Rather it’s where the charm of Popstrangers lie – a juxtaposition between sonic jaggedness and lyrical connectedness sets up an engaging deal, and for this Happy Accidents should be commended. The title track and ‘Their, there’ take ‘1000’ further by marrying emotive exhaustion with sonic experimentation. Where the first EP felt a bit like a new band checking the boxes of their heroes, Happy Accidents sounds like them stepping out of the box altogether and penning tracks that are both disengaging and completely arresting.

Enlisting Dale Cotton for mastering duties is commendable too. In less capable hands Happy Accidents could have easily been white noise, the melodies and choruses lost in an onslaught of reverb and minor notation. Instead the balance is perfect – when Flyger wants to pronounce an epiphany, his lyrics resonate on top of and through everything else, where he’s trailing off with an unfinished thought they carefully fall into the folds of more important instrumentations – one can almost feel the points that Popstrangers mean to hammer home, those they care less about and the intricate relationship between the two.

It’s difficult to take anything more away from an EP than track-by-track deconstruction and vague idea of where a band are headed, and it would have been nice to see Popstrangers hone their talents for a full length album. However, at least Happy Accidents is progression enough to get excited about an album-proper down the line.


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