Sébastian Schuller Happiness

After releasing his debut EP, Weeping Willow, three years ago, French multi-instrumentalist Sébastian Schuller has now readied his debut album Happiness: a stunning journey into a wide-open terrain of committed acoustic and electronic music. The Radiohead (circa Kid A) comparisons are inescapable, as he weds standard pop structures with warm doses of electronica and restrained psychedelia. The album’s title might seem a little ironic, as the sweeping soundscapes are strung linearly together in a mist of despair, but Schuller isn’t all about pulling frowns. Delve a little deeper and you’ll find his playful nature in "Ride Along the Cliff,” which ends with the line "We could lay back on the beach drinking beers the whole night,” or "Le Dernier Jour” — a lengthy instrumental that reveals a struggle between finishing off as either a genteel lullaby or an experimental freak out. Happiness is an inspiring piece of affectionate music that really knows how to pull those heartstrings and get the required emotional response from the listener that Schuller is expecting. (Catalogue)