Alcopop! Records have always had an eclectic roster, but it’s rarely, if ever, been as strong as it has been over the last 12 months. From established acts Johnny Foreigner and Tellison to rising stars The Spills, they’ve remained true to their mission statement of delivering some of the best indie-pop around, regardless of which niche genre they belong.
And, with Happy Accidents, they’ve yet again struck gold.
In fact – and certainly in keeping with the above statement – it is no surprise to learn that Happy Accidents are not an obvious Alcopop! band, and are instead much more aligned with the literate indie-pop of Alcopop! soulmates Fortuna Pop (home to Martha and the Spook School, both of whom would make fine bedfellows for Happy Accidents’ rambling, personality-driven pop). It’s something of a coup for Alcopop!, but highlights just what solid taste the label has.
Of course, such platitudes would count for nought if ‘You Might Be Right’ wasn’t up to par. Not only is an outstandingly fine debut, it could be one of the finest albums on the label. Period.
Cuts such as ‘Leaving Parties Early’ and ‘Chameleon’ come packed with matter-of-fact irreverence, with vocalist Rich Mandell encapsulating awkward growing pains perfectly. There’s a flash of Colin Meloy (The Decemberists) about his delivery and inflections, echoing the sentiment of a geek-done-good. He’s one of us; awkward, precocious and, just occasionally, “comes off as a twat” (his words, not mine).
Fans of everyone from Modern Baseball to the Front Bottoms to Martha will absolutely lap up Happy Accidents twisted DIY indie-pop, with tracks like ‘Facts and Figures’ blessed with so much fizz and pop and colour they feel like they could explode like a paintball at any moment. Elsewhere, the sparse ‘I Can’t Wait To Get The Hell Away From You’ showing the trio’s ability to strip it all back and let Rich spill his guts and bile in wonderfully articulate style.
‘You Might Be Right’ is the sound of a band already comfortable in their own skin; there’s no awkward asides or shoe-horned diversions, merely 10 of the most on-point indie-pop songs you could imagine. They may be happy (occasionally), but such success is no accident.
’You Might Be Right’ by Happy Accidents is out now on Alcopop! Records.
Words by Rob Mair (@BobNightMair)