The Happy Couple - Fools In Love EP

matinée 054  /  February 2005
The Happy Couple - Fools In Love EP
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The Happy Couple - Fools In Love EP

matinée 054  /  February 2005

The first German act on Matinée, The Happy Couple live in Hamburg and also run the excellent Félicité Singles Club record label. A follow-up to their sold out debut single, the 'Fools in Love' EP is an instant classic incorporating all the right influences but with a thoroughly modern sound. Lead track 'Another Sunny Day' is an immediate pop hit sounding nothing like the band of the same name but perhaps a little bit like Sarah labelmates Even As We Speak. 'Hopeless Case' and 'The Pop Kid' turn up the guitars a notch for two potential indie club hits that could double as long lost Shop Assistants gems, while 'Don't Call It' is a hypnotic song that recalls classic recordings from Marine Girls or Revolving Paint Dream. The single was masterfully produced by Ulric Kennedy (The Golden Dawn, The Catalysts, The Void, The Mixers) and Dannie Vallely (The Void, The Catalysts) who helped provide a bright glossy finish to the four songs. Fans of the abovementioned bands or current indie stars Pipas, Tender Trap or Club 8 take notice! Limited to 1000 copies in custom minijacket sleeve.

  1. Another Sunny Day
  2. Hopeless Case
  3. The Pop Kid
  4. Don't Call It


No doubt there are exceptions out there but Germany isn't known as a hotspot for indie pop. The Happy Couple may change all of that. The duo hail from Hamburg but are located somewhere on the map between Club 8, Birdie and any band fronted by Amelia Fletcher. The four songs on their Matinée debut, Fools in Love, are all varying degrees of sweetness and light built around Janehoney's cotton candy vocals and an unerring sense of indie pop song craft. "Another Sunny Day" is the standout a frothy sun-kissed track that features most of the hallmarks of classic indie pop, a swinging tambourine, walls of strummy acoustic guitars, cutie pie lyrics, swooning synth strings and "ba da ba" background vocals. It is the kind of song that you'll want to program your personal music delivery device to play every morning when you wake up because it'll help you start each day with a big smile. The other three are built of slightly sterner stuff. "Don't Call It" is a minor key late night ballad complete with a moody vibraphone and a very sultry vocal from Janehoney, "Hopeless Case," a rocking anti-love song and "The Pop Kid" is melancholy punk pop with spikey guitars. This is the kind of EP that leaves you breathlessly anticipating a full-length record from the Happy Couple. It is also nice proof that the classic sound of indie pop is alive and well and thriving.   --All Music Guide
The brains behind the Felicite label, the Happy Couple are a boy/girl duo from Germany who make perfect dancey indiepop. Sounding like a cross between Pipas, Helen Love and the bands from the Greek-pop/This Happy Feeling Records scene, the first three songs on this single are instant classics, while the final track, "Don't Call It", sounds more like one of the slower Tender Trap songs. I like this single even more than their first one, so let's hope to hear some more from them soon!   --IndiePages
The Happy Couple know pop. Listen to opener "Another Sunny Day" and you'll be searching for your Mickey Mouse beach towel -- the song's cheery "ba-da-da"s practically beg to be heard from a tinny radio on the beach. Sweet English-as-a-Second-Language female vocals elevate Fools in Love; the Hamburg-based group finds the same mature yet sexy tone that Ivy has and the Hidden Cameras aspire to. The musicianship is equally alluring, particularly the over-the-top drumming -- the rhythm second leaps out of the gate like a horse on crystal meth. The lead guitar on "Hopeless Case" is a little too bright, but the shimmering chorus is a glimpse of pop heaven. Though none of these four tracks are flawless enough to make a huge splash, "The Pop Kid" comes close. The joyous combination of a bouncy, stop-on-a-dime bass line and an instantly hummable melody warrants an immediate second listen. Besides, who can tire of odes to shy boys who also happen to be pop-stars? Closer "Don't Call It" slows the pace to make-out level, with mixed results. "Everyone is special, every girl has her own story to tell," vocalist Jane Honey whispers. If Fools In Love is a sign of the future, Jane can tell all the stories she wants.   --Splendid
"We're going on a road trip, you and I", the German duo The Happy Couple sing at the start of their Fools in Love EP. And it sounds like they're singing to us, considering the way the song, "Another Sunny Day," pulls us along on a bright and sunny pop vacation. The song sounds like absolute joy, with a bouncy feeling hinting at its former life as a disco song, once upon a time. "There's nothing nothing I'd rather do than sharing this shining dream with you," Janehoney sings, with a choir of endless ba-ba-ba-ba behind her, and you agree, without a doubt. "I'm all in a haze / my life is a mess," the next song, "Hopeless Case," begins. It's a sadder song, with the central sentiment "I don't love you / I don't love you at all" buoyed by harder-edged guitars, yet it's sung like it's a jingle for happiness, and still makes you feel giddy and ready to dance around like a fool. There's a rock edge present in the base of the next track, "The Pop Kid," too, though it's a pure summer single that looks upward to the sun. Closing number "Don't Call It" slows things down, with a mellow, still lovely, alleys-and-shadows vibe. 'The Happy Couple', they call themselves, but that doesn't mean these songs' sentiments are all happy. But certainly their overall pop sound is happy, and they sound as happy to be making their music as I am to be hearing it.   --Erasing Clouds
Opening with the spun-gold harmonies of Ulric & Dannie from The Void, who also produced the EP, 'Another Sunny Day' is anything but another indie pop song. On the contrary, here's one that keener-eared radio programmers should immediately slot in to the same schedule space once occupied by the Boo Radleys' 'Wake Up Boo!': the hallowed three and a half minute pop turf leading us out of the news and weather. It’s immediate, it’s pop in bloom and it deserves to be ear candy for the nation this spring. I particularly dig how Janehoney's vocals exude the heady combination of confidence and vulnerability that makes for a perfect pop listen. Things continue well: 'The Pop Kid', supported by uplifting Buzzcockian guitar, could easily be a single in its own right while 'Hopeless Case' which should fill dancefloors from Revolver in Hamburg to Glasgow's Winchester Club. Add the hypnotic 'Don't Call It' - which sounds like melancholy caught in neon - and you have a momento to cherish of love's many moods, masterfully produced & beautifully packaged.   --Speakers Push The Air
There are also hints of late ‘60s Soft Pop in the sounds made by The Happy Couple on their 'Fools In Love' EP. Certainly ‘Another Sunny Day’ is light enough on its feet to be a Sandy Salisbury tune, whilst the dreamy ‘Don’t Call It’ is like Broadcast still in love with guitars. Elsewhere, The Happy Couple make a Pop racket that thinks it’s still 1986 and that The Kids are still in love with ankle socks, stripy tops and anoraks. I get the impression that The Happy Couple dream of 7” singles by Marine Girls and of eating ice creams on the prom with Razorcuts, and there’s nothing wrong with that of course. Really, no, there isn’t. File close to similarly besotted contemporaries like Language Of Flowers, and enjoy for the fragments of moments it takes for the bubbles to float to the surface of your sunny sundae smile.   --Tangents
Second single from German duo The Happy Couple. Making a follow-up to the great debut single “The Four Seasons EP” on their own Félicité Singles Club label seems like quite high expectations to live up to... but this one’s even better! Not only the name of the first track is brilliant; “Another Sunny Day” is an ace crossover between the 60’s sunshine pop, Eggstone and the finest of 80’s guitar pop, completed with Janehoneys excellent vocals, ba-da-ba’s and accoustic guitars. As is the case with the first track, both “Hopeless Case” and “The Pop Kid” are true indiepop club floorfillers. Upbeat, punked-up guitars, a pumping bass and echoes of Another Sunny Day, Shop Assistants and The Field Mice. “Don’t Call It” is the slow ending of this four track CDEP, a slice of jazzy melancholia reminding a bit of Marine Girls at their best. Excellent production by Ulric Kennedy (The Golden Dawn, The Catalysts, The Void, The Mixers) and Dannie Vallely (The Void, The Catalysts). Don’t miss this one, you’ll regret it.   --Fraction Discs
Sticking with Santa Barbara’s finest exponents of lovelorn indie rock another slice of pristine pop this time courtesy of Germany’s the Happy Couple who when not in the studio recording timeless knee tremblers run the Félicité Singles Club (which we now feel compelled to check out). ‘Another Sunny Day’ (sadly not about the much missed band of the same name – who were as we all know one of the unsung heroes of the Sarah roster) does as it says on the tin, top-drawer loveliness, warming harmonies a la Boo Radleys beam so bright you could get a West Coast tan just by sitting in the same room as, all the time Jane Honey’s vocals breathlessly dally barefoot amid the soft 60’s shimmer. ‘Hopeless Case’ bristles and bops with the sand between its toes while the punky pop strides of the stinging ‘The Pop Kid’ takes several leaves from Helen Love’s book of ‘irresistibly catchy spiked toons to send the kids wild’ and makes paper aeroplanes with points so sharp it stuns you into a frenzied bout of unexpectedly ecstatic pogoing. Leaving the best till last (don’t they always), ‘Don’t call it’ is as horny as hell, coolly oozing reverbs exact a sultry calm upon an overall late night torch femme fatale routine made up to be a shadowy late 60’s hurter, a kind of Nico masquerading as Francoise Hardy – guaranteed to hit whatever spot you care to name.   --Losing Today
The first of a three pronged, triumphant singles attack from Matinée this month, The Happy Couple are all the way from the good old Ger, Man of Y and run the everso excellent Felicite singles club. ‘Another Sunny Day’, apart from being the name of one of my favourite bands ever, is the lead off track here, and, bugger me, if I don’t just want to run naked through the Nottingham summer sun – when it arrives – upon hearing it. Think sunshine – think The Happy Couple. But…wait! What’s this? It’s ‘Hopeless Case’, and it’s oh so sad. But it’s still fuppin’ ace, and very, very Sarah. But if it’s power pop thrills you want, look no further than the fantastic ‘Pop Kid’, which I am gonna play if I ever DJ again…on loop. All night. Magical, all round, really.   --Tasty