Happy Human, a side project of Elliot Street Lunatic, is releasing a new EP this Friday at Mac’s Bar. The EP is entitled “Pale is the New Tan”. Happy Human is Jordan Hahn (vocals, guitar, synth, percussion)┬áJason Marr (drums, bass, guitar, vocals, synth, percussion) and┬áLiz McDaniel (synth, piano, vocals).

Here’s a review.

I don’t like to describe things as “cute” but that’s really the only word I can use to accurately describe the overall feeling of this record. Everything about the record has a child-like innocence to it. The synths on “Like Robots Do” sound like they’re coming straight from a children’s cartoon like Blue’s Clues or something similar. The drums, all via a drum machine, are simple. The hand claps help add to the childish, cute attitude here.

The title track features a rotating, circular drum beat as well as a single kick drum as Hahn’s drone of a voice says “You’re cold but your heart is warm/you emit too much carbon dioxide/you’re pale just like me/soon you’ll see that you’ll be alright…”. His voice (as a few others have said) has a Lou Reed sing-talk, monotony to it. It, at first, is a novelty but then after a few songs it begins to lose its luster. Thankfully, the backup vocals from McDaniel and Marr (along with friends CJ Kjolhede and Elon Parker) helps to spice up the monotony.

My favorite song on this EP is “You Are the Best”. I love the summer-envisioning acoustic guitar chords and the kick drum pounding. “I can’t wait any longer/To get this off my chest/I just have to tell you/That you are the best” Hahn sings with an affirming, yet subtle vocal. Backing vocals from Marr help add to the catchiness. I love the instrumentation. A piano, acoustic guitar and a kickdrum are all that’s used here. I was starting to get sick of the cutsey synth and dancebeats. Unfortunately, this song is in the middle of the EP.

I am aware that this EP was written, recorded and totally finished in about a month, so I can understand why some of the instrumentation was not varied as there wasn’t much time to try new things. What I do like about the second half of this EP is the lengthy instrumental section on “New Feeling”. I love the guitar solo; the tone of the guitar is subdued yet bright and sunny.

Go see them play at Mac’s Bar with Roll Over Radio, This is My Suitcase and Commodore Cosmos this Friday at 6pm. Tickets are $6 in advance and $8 the day of. The show is All Ages.