[sic] Magazine

Halasan Bazar – How To Be Ever Happy

It’s easy to take groups like the hippy Halasan Bazar collective for granted. Folky, 60s psychedelia bands are ten-a-penny and they rarely, by definition, rip up trees. The lush How To Be Ever Happy is, however, fully deserving of its vinyl-edition re-release. First seeing the light of day two years ago on a small-run cassette batch, it’s a best-of of sorts, the product of cherry picking three stoned CD-Rs and one EP of kitchen recordings. And, to be frank, these “depressed and confused” love songs feel like pure crate-digging gold.

The rag-tag Copenhagen group is led by Norwegian exile Fredrik Rollum Eckhoff and on How To Be Ever Happy he leads them on a proper journey on a properly hypnotic album. On the sleepy opener, “Magic Cloud”, for example, you fly arms-spread through fluffy, flower-power landscapes, an apt twinkle for company, the track’s lovely melody stepping up to propel you onwards to further dreamy melancholia such as original single “Mountaintops”. The patient closer, “Soul Overboard”, on the other hand offers a scrappy psychedelic wheeze not unlike The Clean’s excellent “In The Dreamlife U Need A Rubber Soul”, while the pin-drop “Family Lies” prefers to twin spectral folk with ghostly choral harmonies.

In turn, the woodwind-indebted “Scroll Down” is a beautifully heavy-lidded shuffle, “Figure It Out” delightful psyche-pop, and all 98 seconds of the rickety “Snag” charm in a Woods kinda way. On the standout “Go Out In Joy” the bubbling and personable organ practically comes wearing a paisley shirt, but mercifully the patchouli has been left at home and How To Be Ever Happy revels in this tasteful restraint throughout. It instinctively knows when to take another hit and when to simply sit back and let the good times roll.

~The re-mastered How To Be Ever Happy is out on vinyl now via the collaborative efforts of Requiem Pour Un Twister and Moon Glyph.~