Give me something to die for. Or just something to laugh at. Not everything needs to be so serious, so life-changing. But I love to change.
Sex looms large in the perpetually modern and totally ambitious music of Happy Lives. Each song in their eclectic repertoire exists in its own sonic world, punctuated by characters who openly celebrate their contradictions and unabashed sexual desires. These cockeyed narratives are the work of singer, producer Mike Lande – a diametrically opposed Irish Catholic, German Jew, deeply feministic, skirt chaser.
Not relegating himself to one particular identity could be attributed to Lande’s upbringing and environment. He grew up in Boston, spent ten years in Brooklyn and now resides in Los Angeles – a move that is reflected in Happy Lives’ distinct shift from punk to pop. “I started to feel alienated in Brooklyn” Lande says, though his CV points to some productive work drumming for trendy bands in that scene. “Coming from punk into a hip hop, beat-based mentality has been really liberating.” Mike considers his most recent output the beginning of Happy Lives entrance into the mainstream and his suspicions have been confirmed by glowing praise from KCRW, Music Connection, The Deli and Earmilk who called their tunes “artfully made and addicting.”
Happy Lives newest single “Give up With” might be their most straightly played ‘indie’ production to date while capitalizing on the dance pop appeal they have been forging over the past few years. “I call it booty-shaking music” Lande asserts when pressed to characterize his style. “Because many different genres are conducive to shaking your ass.” But no tongue-in-cheek explanation can negate the songs serious psychological ruminations which often challenge the status quo. “I’ve been criticized and called everything; shallow, arrogant, misogynistic” Lande reflects. “I’m simply into exploration, openness and extremes. I’m also one of the horniest people I know.”