Fun, funny, engaging. Not many mainstream bands can boast featuring a cello in their bill of instruments or a music video filmed completely in reverse, but these qualities are exactly what set The Happy Fits apart. The indie pop band is coming to Atlanta in December on their current “What Could Be Better” tour, and last week, they took the time to sit for an interview with the Technique.
The group formed when cellist Calvin Langman and guitarist Ross Monteith began performing covers together. This experience, according to Monteith, made the pair realize that they “hated doing covers.” Thankfully, this realization was not the end of their creative collaboration.
In the summer before their first semester at college, the pair began working out together and recording their own songs. In need of a drummer, the pair called on a friend of a friend, Luke Davis, for what they thought would be a one-time recording together. Soon after, they released their first EP, “Awfully Apeelin.” These songs took off on Spotify’s “Fresh Finds” playlist two weeks later, and it became clear to the trio that their musical careers together were just beginning. Five years and three albums later, the band is currently on their “What Could Be Better Tour.” Released in 2020, this album has a music video for each of its songs.
For one song, “No Instructions,” the group donned cowboy hats and rocked out on a ranch. Despite the polished final product, the group described the behind-the-scenes chaos of learning how to ride horses for the first time and sprinting away from hornets’ nests in between takes. The Western scene had Langman and Davis riding on horses and Monteith, who is allergic to horses, on a toy pony; this pairing, in combination with the many improvised scenes of the friends goofing around, made for a perfectly wholesome and wholly accurate depiction of the group.
Other favorite music video memories for the group included their time reversed effect in the music video for “Go Dumb” (“Tenet” who?) and the catchy choreography of “She Wants Me To Be Loved.”
The group’s unique sound is the product of a varied listening library. Major influences include the Killers, Young the Giant and Vampire Weekend, but this list is too short to capture their expanding sound. In talking lyrics, Davis listed a line from Mitski’s “Nobody” as a recent favorite, and Langman cited Mama Cass’ “Make Your Own Kind of Music” as an enduring favorite.
With these unexpected influences, the band’s music is ever-changing but always compelling. Touching on themes that they feel and writing about what they want to, the Happy Fits have created a unique sound possibly as fun to sing along and dance to as it was to make.
The Happy Fits have worked hard to develop an eclectic, diverse following. Rans recommend listening to their latest single, “Cold Turkey,” This song has all the cathartic reverie of the chorus of “Mr. Brightside,” and a whistled outro that has the Andy Griffith show’s theme song shaking in its boots.
With bright songs and upbeat lyrics, their Dec. 11 show at The Loft is sure to be the perfect way to celebrate the semester wrapping up. Tickets are $15.