The Horns of Happiness return to the recorded world with their first release since 2007's What Spills Like Thread EP. Here we find the band in concept mode, balancing its pounding rhythms and airy melodies to create a soundtrack piece entitled Weathering Alterations. The band's normally speedy and structure-damaged tunes begin to stretch out, allowing repetition and space to create new moods. Originally performed as an accompaniment to the J. Shelley Harrison installation piece "Don't Rain On My Parade", the recording focuses on the reaction of the psyche to unexpected changes in environment. While this is not the true follow-up to the band's only full-length album, 2004's A Sea As A Shore, the record is a moody, rocking, and nonsensical song cycle. As with all St. Ives releases, this album is only available digitally and as hand-made limited edition vinyl (only 200 copies).
Horns Of Happiness provide the two sides to the second half of their newnew sound with "What Spills Like Thread". With the follow-up 12" to last year's "Would I Find Your Psychic Guideline", they're now navigating the waters of hypnotic, organ-driven thump rock. On this record, the HoH have expanded into a trio, with new member Elaina Morgan providing the bottom end to the disjointed fuzz of Aaron Deer and Shelly Harrison's organ/drum combo. Played out in two extended jams, side A evokes ESG on the dance floor with Can at an absinthe-fueled afterparty, while side B is a woozy pop-drone undulation.
From the west coast bedroom pop beginnings of last year’s A Sea As A Shore, Aaron Deer’s (one half of The Impossible Shapes) one time solo project is now anchored with the drumming kaleidoscope of one Shelley Harrison on their latest 12” Would I Find Your Psychic Guideline. Now a duo, the Elephant Six foundations have given way to a treasure trove of pounding rhythms and repetitive organ lines not unlike New York’s Oneida at their devilish best on Each One Teach One, or 20-odd years earlier when Philip Glass and Suicide brought the minimalist keyboard aesthetic to the rest of the world... but don’t be mislead. This is a 12”, not some overly heady art damaged Brooklyn piece of vinyl. It's corn-fed head-bobbin' music from the midwest...
The Horns of Happiness are all around you. Stretching across the countryside and delving into the deepest sea, they create and are created by all existence. They can be found in boisterous days of celebration and rebirth along with the quiet whispers of defeat and loneliness. A song to lift your feet through uncountable joy and complete distress. In this case, The Horns are interpreted almost entirely by songwriter Aaron Deer as he has witnessed their actions and reactions throughout 2001 and 2002. As core member of both the Impossible Shapes and John Wilkes Booze, Deer has established himself as a feroucious live performer and inventive collaborator in the studio. For his second album utilizing the Horns of Happiness moniker, he showcases his prowess on virtually every instrument. Like a glorious pillow fight in the heavens between Paul & Linda McCartney and Grandaddy, A Sea As A Shore is full of fuzzed out psychedelic pop songs composed with acoustic & electric guitars, pumping organs and dreamy vocals. They are interspersed with instrumental interludes where pianos mingle, banjos bark and tape loops shuffle. Built upon simple, spontaneous parts, and sculpted onto the tape, the songs as a whole take the listener by the hand guiding him to the revelation that music can transport the listener to another place. Fans of Maher Shalal Hash Baz, the Microphones and the Olivia Tremor Control will find a good friend in A Sea As A Shore.