REVIEW: Van She ‘Idea of Happiness’
Sydney quartet VAN SHE are on the precipice. Days ahead of the release of their second full length album Idea of Happiness, the funky foursome have it all in front of them: national tour, sold out gigs and swathes of young and vital individuals positively gagging for a piece of their ’80s style pop-tart-ery.While their album is not yet available to the public, we here at PURPLE SNEAKERS were fortunate enough to get a preview listen to ‘Idea of Happiness’ (and it only cost us our first-born!).The album opens with lead single ‘Idea of Happiness‘, which is accompanied by follow-up ‘Jamaica’. In either case, calypso-Caribbean melodies show the group moving beyond the retro-pop of their back-catalogue, all the while retaining the summer-y positivity that has characterised their sound. Synths grind and saturate beneath Nicky Routledge‘s soothing vocal stylings, rising and falling over tribal drums and rhythmic beats.
The band go back to their synth-pop roots on ‘Sarah’ and ‘You’re My Rescue’, with all their trademark harmonies and falsettos on display. The infectious ‘Tears’ is sure to have jean-shorts and singlets jumping on the summer festival circuit, while ‘Coconuts’ has a distinct Ace of Bass vibe. Not one to be missed. ‘Radio Waves I’ and ‘II’ meanwhile are somewhat baffling inclusions, providing little more than instrumental filler in an otherwise impressive collection of tracks.
Production has always been a redeeming quality of Van She‘s music. The success of the Van She Technologic off-shoot is testament to the band’s technical prowess and their savvy studio abilities, and this is an ever-present feature on ‘Idea of Happiness’.
‘Idea of Happiness’ is out July 6 on Modular. Until then, y’all are just gonna have to feast on this review!
Check out our interview with the lads HERE.
Check out our review of their show at the Beach Road Hotel HERE.
Words by Dominic Sciberras