Happy Accidents – ‘Everything But The Here And Now’

By Andy Joice

London based three-piece Happy Accidents return with their electrifying sophomore album, ‘Everything But The Here And Now’, sticking true to their indie-punk roots. While their debut album, ‘You Might Be Right’, has elements of DIY punk, the second release shows clear growth and a more developed sound. The real reason is that drummer Phoebe Cross shares vocal duties with guitarist Rich Mandell, giving a completely new style. As a counter to Mandell’s Jake Bugg-like vocals, Cross’s gentle and innocent voice gives the band a Muncie Girls feel. All underpinned by driving basslines. Quite the compliment.

The album opens with the magnetic ‘Nunhead’, named after the cemetery in South London. It’s a slow build with a soothing melody but exemplifies the direction of the album. Swiftly followed by singles ‘Wait It Out’ and ‘A Better Plan’, we get a glimpse of the harmonies between Mandell and Cross, with each leading the vocals respectively. The band released a video late November, showcasing ‘Wait It Out’ and ‘A Better Plan’, stating, “It sometimes feels like a new band, so to split the video down the middle felt like the only way to give a proper taste of what’s to come.” And they’re absolutely right. Bouncing between vocalists every few songs keeps it fresh yet maintains the essence of the band.

Cross takes the lead on the shorter, almost interludial ‘Float’, and melancholic ‘Text Me When You’re Home’, with Mandell regaining the reigns for the quicker  ‘Free Time’ and ‘Unwind’. The hauntingly sombre ‘Sink’ closes the album in the way it opens; slow, harmonised and wistful.

Despite the upbeat, pop punk nature of the album, the songs themselves deal with depression, loneliness and anxiety, a stark contrast to Mandell and Cross’s intertwined harmonies. Lyrically, there’s a maturity not seen on ‘You Might Be Right’ as they explore the chaotic personal relationships around them as they progress on their upward trajectory. It’s heart-warming, honest and forthright. Certainly a band to look out for.


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