Pretend Happy – ‘Tired Eyes’

By Conor Mackie

Pretend Happy’s ‘Tired Eyes’ is an accomplished, assured debut from a young UK band. These three guys from the small town of Barnstaple in the South West have produced a record they should be extremely proud of and one that puts them right up there with bands like Moose Blood and Milk Teeth.

Opener ‘Sink’ starts the record off slow, a single guitar accompanied by a lone vocal describing a failing relationship, before lead single ‘Hellp’ showcases how great Pretend Happy are at writing a really good, really catchy pop song. The opening riff is catchy as hell and the drums are bouncy whilst the bass rolls through, intertwining everything in an understated way. ‘Iced Teeth’ has one of the most catchy choruses on the record whilst ‘I’m Home’ keeps things interesting by stripping back the verses. ‘Arsonist’ is an anthemic slow burner that kicks in around the 2 minute mark, providing the most raw and aggressive sound on the record. It’s in these moments that Pretend Happy really excel, they toe the line perfectly before throwing in something that catches you off guard and grabs your attention.

Granted, there is a number of bands in the UK right now doing similar things to Pretend Happy, but there’s something about this record that elevates them above the rest. The vocals are so strong and confidently delivered, harmonies are used just at the right time and the overall production of the record should be commended. There is a confidence to the songs and a real sense that Pretend Happy spent time crafting this album into something that will hold up in the long run, rather than just cashing in on what’s popular right now.


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