At nearly the beginning of 2020, Circa Waves dropped the first half of their new double album, simply titled 'Happy'. The release was a broad and fun approach to the indie-pop sound, regularly adopting fresh and exciting ideas that really helped the collection come to life. But almost two months later, they have now shared the latter half of their latest collection, completing the contrast of thought that has been going into this new project. But it is clear to hear from the start that these new additions fall distinctly behind the work that was put into their earlier release.
Hearing 'Happy' on its own was a vibrant and enticing joy as the group looked to go back to the heyday of indie music and bring some genuine fun back to the genre. But this second phase in the release just seems to be lacking the same spark of adventure and exploration. Although it is obvious to see from the record's title that this is deliberately supposed to be two opposite sides of the same coin, 'Sad Happy' manages to take the promising start it had and run it down to a despondent and lacklustre approach that just simply does not suit the band's usual flair for big and boisterous sounds.
It is a shame that this latest entry in the worldwide double-album craze that doesn't manage to keep up with the promising directions that so many acts have been able to tackle. 'Sad Happy' is a wonderfully delightful collection for its first eight songs, but once you hit the centre point, it is probably best turning off after that.