Home Read Now Hear This: The Happy Fits | What Could Be Better

Now Hear This: The Happy Fits | What Could Be Better

I'm still getting caught up on all the good albums I missed last week. Like this one.


THE PRESS RELEASE: “In a time where positivity is hard to come by, The Happy Fits are here with their transportive, sunny second album, What Could Be Better. Turning a love for The Killers and Violent Femmes into their own compact pop songwriting, the New Jersey-based trio started as a casual summer project for high school friends Calvin Langman, Ross Monteith, and Luke Davis before going off to college. After their debut EP, 2016’s Awfully Apeelin’, took off during their first semester, school stopped looking like the natural next step. Following their 2018 full-length Concentrate, The Happy Fits have further honed their ambition for What Could Be Better’s collection of crowd-pleasers. “Growing up, I was either in school, at home practicing, or at music school, and there was always this pressure to be really productive,” says primary songwriter Langman, who dropped out of conservatory to pursue the band. “When I decided that I wanted to do this for a living, being productive meant a totally different thing, because now I have to create things that are just in my head and make them real. Measuring how productive that is in my life, it’s hard to do that. There’s a lot of dissatisfaction I feel. I write that into the songs, all of the guilt that I feel for not sticking with a normal plan.” From the stomping No Instructions to the album-closing title track, What Could Be Better channels youthful malaise into songs that demand to be sung along to. Moving deploys Beach Boys-inspired harmonies for a classically feel-good sound, and the integration of Langman’s classical cello training will appeal to fans of early Vampire Weekend. Far from cloying, the band’s upbeat nature is rooted in a real desire to connect with a world that sometimes seems distant. Recorded over six weeks at Diamond City Studio in Brooklyn, What Could Be Better is a charming, efficient mission statement that’s meant to be shared, something Monteith already knows well. “We want people to feel good listening to our music, because that’s what music does for people.”