Words by Matt Bond
With a livestream at Eiger Studios tonight, a sold-out run of cassettes, and the promise of a debut EP on the horizon, Monch Records newest addition Mega Happy have a deserved hype around their newest single ‘Honey Pie’.
Embellishing a thriving Leeds post-punk scene with synth-pop pazazz, the now two-piece have pulled together a diverse and fully-fleshed out version of themselves in Honey Pie. Taking the successes of past releases (We Can’t Be Friends, Stubborn, etc.), their contrasting of the dour and dreary with sparkling guitar leads that pair nicely with vocals-in-tow makes accessing their world very easy, regardless of whether you’ve followed them over the past few years, or are just now hearing of them for the first time.
Honey Pie sets of with a swirling and disorienting Kubrick-esque intro before Austin O’Neil’s almost trademark jangling guitar tone makes the first step into what will become, I think, their most complete and well-rounded release to date. The matter-of-factness to Patrick Foster’s vocal delivery, its conversational attitude in this instance, works in the duo’s favour and initiates a more immersive relationship between Mega Happy and the listener. It’s straight to the point drizzled in just enough echo to encircle you; like having the same melancholy chat with a lover you know won’t be with when you wake up the following day.
That’s not to say that Honey Pie has left me with a sour taste in my mouth…quite the opposite in fact. It soars in parts, led by O’Neil’s high-end guitar lines and raised and held by rolling basslines and increasing frenetic drums that charge into a blizzard of 16ths towards the back end. Foster’s vocals still never feel out of place though, and they never try to overshadow the track itself. They feel instrumental (in the very literal sense of the word), adding texture and colour to the track before anything else.
Drawing to a close, the final 30 seconds of Honey Pie are the money maker. The transition between final chorus and outro, from riffs and hats to a theatrical and sonically uplifting toms and staccato electronic harp(?) synths provide a bedrock for the multiple layers of vocals in the outro to enjoy their time in the spotlight. It’s a warming ending to the beginning of a new chapter for the Leeds outfit, and the craftsmanship on display in Honey Pie points them on a trajectory that can only be upwards for 2021.
Mon the boys.