10 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Led by saxophonist/composer Stuart Bogle, Superhuman Happiness turn their sophomore album, Hands, into a surreal dance party full of skewed angles and giddy rhythms. The Brooklyn septet boast a formidable collective résumé—Bogle, for instance, has played on sessions for Iron & Wine and TV on the Radio, in addition to serving as conductor for the Afrobeat combo Antibalas. Ultimately, such background info matters less than the sheer inventiveness that SH bring to these tracks. The songs on Hands strike a balance between tight structures and freewheeling musicianship, fusing elements of funk, free jazz, punk, and world beat. The lyrics radiate sunny vibes with a hint of subversion; the grooves tug and tease as they raise a sweat. Bogle’s squalling sax drives the music forward while guitarists Luke O’Malley and Ryan Ferreira lay down choppy yet deft lines. The slap-happy clatter of “Elevator Elation,” the buoyant glide of “Second Heart” and the spacy throb of “I Can Hear You Calling” testify to the band’s eclectic ambition. Gang vocals on tunes like “Our Favorite Part” further boost the album’s bubbly mood.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Led by saxophonist/composer Stuart Bogle, Superhuman Happiness turn their sophomore album, Hands, into a surreal dance party full of skewed angles and giddy rhythms. The Brooklyn septet boast a formidable collective résumé—Bogle, for instance, has played on sessions for Iron & Wine and TV on the Radio, in addition to serving as conductor for the Afrobeat combo Antibalas. Ultimately, such background info matters less than the sheer inventiveness that SH bring to these tracks. The songs on Hands strike a balance between tight structures and freewheeling musicianship, fusing elements of funk, free jazz, punk, and world beat. The lyrics radiate sunny vibes with a hint of subversion; the grooves tug and tease as they raise a sweat. Bogle’s squalling sax drives the music forward while guitarists Luke O’Malley and Ryan Ferreira lay down choppy yet deft lines. The slap-happy clatter of “Elevator Elation,” the buoyant glide of “Second Heart” and the spacy throb of “I Can Hear You Calling” testify to the band’s eclectic ambition. Gang vocals on tunes like “Our Favorite Part” further boost the album’s bubbly mood.

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About Superhuman Happiness

Under the leadership of multi-instrumentalist Stuart Bogie, indie party supergroup Superhuman Happiness were founded in Brooklyn in 2008. Their party-friendly sounds mixed composition, improvisation, and a groove-heavy sense of rhythm. Songwriter, saxophonist, and vocalist Bogie was joined by a rotating lineup of over two dozen in their first few years, including singer Andrea Diaz, guitarists Luke O'Malley and Ryan Ferreira, keyboardist Jared Samuel, trumpet players Eric Biondo and Eli Asher, bassist Nikhil Yerawadekar, and drummers Miles Arntzen, Ian Chang, and Sam Levin. Their joyful and uplifting mix of pop and improv reached its apex in their exuberant performances, and apart from various tours and festivals, they were regulars at famed Brooklyn performance and culture hub Zebulon. The group's recorded output was fruitful and varied, with debut album Fall Down Seven Times Stand Up Eight seeing release in 2009, The Physical EP arriving in 2011, and a series of 7" singles and Web-released videos coming in waves between 2010 and 2012. The band also appeared on the Red Hot + Rio 2 compilation, collaborating on a track with Cults, as well as working on the soundtrack to the 2011 documentary film How to Survive a Plague. Most of the bandmembers split their time in various bands as working musicians, adding their talents to projects as wide-reaching as Iron & Wine, Cibo Matto, and Antibalas, but coming together as schedules allowed to work on recordings and performances with Superhuman Happiness. Once everyone was finally in the same place, 2013 saw the fruits of their labor with the release of their second proper full-length album, Hands. The equally ambitious and catchy Escape Velocity followed in 2015. ~ Fred Thomas

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