Photo by Allison Higgins
On Friday, Vancouver's Mint Records releases Monomyth's second album, Happy Pop Family, no doubt one of the best East coast rock records of the year. 11 tracks range from twee and indie pop to psych and slacker rock, with strong lyrics and personalities that are as naturally dynamic as the band's two main songwriters, Josh Salter and Seamus Dalton (also both in 2016 Polaris Prize nominee, Nap Eyes). Recorded and mastered by Mike Wright (Each Other), the album's title is a dark joke. Dysfunction is always just below the appearance of happiness, and Happy Pop Family uses styles like jangly pop to decorate heavy feelings of isolation, loneliness and sadness. The overlaps are beautiful and inherent tension creates some stand-out tracks. The slack of "Puppet Creek" is countered by the tightness of "Re: Lease Life (Place 2 Go)". On "Fuck With Me," Dalton sings, "Open me like a beer and pour me onto the curb," a song inspired by both rap and The Human League, while Salter channels Halifax 90s-rock on "Cool Blue Hello."
"I get bored of this prescribed narrative that only one band ever existed and all bands since must be made in their image," Salter says of Halifax legacy. "But then again, we are a bunch of white man-boys playing power-pop so I guess we walked right into that one." Even still, this album masters ingenuity and individuality.
"It's almost not at all cohesive, but we were happy when we made it," says Dalton. If you want to feel a little less like an outsider freak, you should probably fuck with Monomyth. Listen to an exclusive stream of the record below.
Adria Young is a writer based in Halifax. Follow her on Twitter.