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Idea of Happiness

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Album Review

Van She's idea of happiness no doubt revolves around banks and banks of old synthesizers with plenty of patch cords and cigarette-stained keys. Their second album, Idea of Happiness, is a synth lover's delight as each song is built around some of the nicest, fattest, squelchiest vintage tones around. Add to that a nice line in alternately joyful and melancholy songcraft that sits firmly in the same '80s-inspired ballpark as labelmates Cut Copy, and you've got something pretty pleasing to the ears. Other good things about the band, and this album in particular, include Nick Routledge's nicely smooth and emotive vocals, the simple and direct sound of the production, the big hooks, and the soft rock feel they get on a couple songs ("You're My Rescue," "Sarah.") The blatant Caribbean strain that runs through the album is nice, too, "Coconuts" and "Calypso" seem to indicate that someone in the band had a nice vacation last year. Van She may not be the most innovative band doing this kind of retro-'80s pop thing, but they have a knack for writing songs that sound like lost classics. Though nothing on Happiness fits the bill as much as "Kelly" from their previous album does, a few ("Jamaica," the positively buoyant title track, and "Beat of a Drum" ) sound like they were sneaking around the Top 100 back in 1985. The rest aren't anything to relegate to the junk pile either. You may reach for Cut Copy or LCD Soundsystem first when the urge to listen to some inspiring retro-dance pop strikes, but if you make it to Van She and Idea of Happiness, you'll find plenty here to love.

Customer Reviews

Favorite of 2012 So Far

You won't find too many reviews from me on iTunes but this record has really gotten to me. It's a little like Phoenix and a little like Cut Copy or Bag Raiders. Great indie pop / synth pop music that references the 70's and 80's. If you like smart, hand crafted music, this is for you.

About time!!!!

I've been burning out the tracks from Van She's previous album...and...more prior to this release....their two singles from this album. Absolutely in love with "Jamaica" and "Idea of Happiness". I always love hearing a band explore and expand on their sound. Without losing the visceral appeal of their earlier work, they've managed to create escapist pieces of work that transport the listener to places they've been and experiences they've had (as opposed to capturing a simple emotion). Great job!... I will be playing this record into the ground as the summer months fade. Please come to the states....we will be waiting!

A great step in a great direction

The first album is fantastic, and you can hear the band growing on this album.
If you are on the US iTunes and you came to this page you are probably here to purchase this anyways, but in case you are new to the it!
I once said they are a poppier Neapolitan Beard, but they are not because that band lights this band's cigarettes.


Formed: 2005 in Sydney, Australia

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The Aussie dance-rock act Van She formed in 2005 in the Sydney suburb of Bankstown. Each member of the band -- Michael Di Francesco (synths), Tomek Archer (drums), Nick Routledge (vocals/guitar), and Matt Van Schie (bass) -- had responded to an ad in Sydney's Drum Media magazine and arrived at an audition for a vocalist for a doom metal band with influences such as Sepultura, Entombed, Black Skull -- and Phil Collins. The whole thing was a total hoax; however, they all became fast friends and scrambled...
Full Bio
Idea of Happiness, Van She
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Customer Ratings