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Electric Cello in a Basement

As I clambered down into one of the many basements on campus, I was greeted by the warm up chords and cheery voices of the members of The Happy Fits. I had gone into this with an unsure outlook, skeptical of what to expect from the local music scene and not wanting to see my hopes dashed before my eyes.

The first song they played, “Too Late”, also the first song off the new EP, Awfully Apeelin’, opened with the quiet French count off by vocalists Calvin Langman, who also plays electric cello, and Ross Monteith, playing guitar. As the song kicks off with light acoustic guitar and delicate singing, my interest is immediately caught. The net of neon colored Christmas lights cast effervescent beams across the band members’ faces and the drum set of Luke Davis, the bands drummer and third vocalist. The small, tightly packed basement is swaying side to side with the band, and then suddenly, Calvin’s Cello begins to scream.

Suddenly the whole place is bouncing up and down, enthralled in the joyous energy of the song. The crowd is singing along even though most don’t know the words. All any of us know is we are bearing witness to something special. At this moment I knew regardless of what was happening around the world, regardless of my anxiety about coming to school, everything was going to be alright.

And that is what this EP is. It is this fervent and burning energy that even in both its elegance and brash nature, still fills you with this warm, floating relief. Kicking off with Too Late, Awfully Apeelin’ quickly ropes you in, grabbing you with its jubilant guitar and vocals, all backed by a powerful and driving force in Davis’s drums. It continues onward with “While You Fade Away”, which like “Too Late” builds slowly, starting with a subtly driving rhythm  backed with strong vocals and dancing guitar. The song fights on, almost battling to be heard in all of its poised passion.

The EP blazes onward with “Dirty Imbecile”. The song is driven by Langman’s vocals and electric cello, but is backed cleanly and glowingly by the vocals, guitar, and drums of Davis and Monteith. The song has this brusqueness paired with a beautiful tenderness. The EP closes on Drink, a song with quiet acoustic guitar and cello with commanding and peaking vocals that leave you simply excited for more. The EP is a wonderful taste of the band, and if you’re anything like me, will leave you anxiously awaiting the release of a full-length album.

by Sam Gordon

The opinions expressed above are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of WRSU-FM, its staff, management, or Rutgers University.

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