Album Review: Seasonal Falls – Happy Days

Indie-folk duo Seasonal Falls look at life through a largely optimistic and charming lens on debut album Happy Days

Switzerland based songwriter and Andrew Pelletier are Seasonal Falls, an indie-folk duo who specialise in crafting the heart-warming and nuanced, melding the former’s soundscapes with the latter’s emotive vocals to formulate a sound that feels earnest and authentic, burning with a sense of passion and charm that feels unmistakably their own.

Their debut album Happy Days is a collection of tracks that highlights that distinctive appeal and allure, kicking off with the soft embrace of almost-title track ‘Happy Dayz’, a subtle and nuanced track that is packed full of endearing softness and the kind of cute little sonic quirks that bring the duo’s sound to life in such engaging fashion. The track immediately establishes the tone of a collection of tracks that are packed full of laid-back optimism and hopeful nostalgia, setting the listener up for the blissful experience that is to come.

The slightly more upbeat ‘Used To Be Fun’ still maintains the same kind of easy-going charm while having a look back at the wilder and more thrilling life that the artist’s used to lead and compares them to the quieter things that they enjoy more now. This kind of theme suits the tone of the album perfectly, with there being a kind of satisfying joy about hearing a laid-back and thoughtful track about living a laid-back and thoughtful life.

Themes like anxiety and stress are explored on ‘Lie Down’, with the track surrounding the theme of having to take a minute to just regain yourself and rationalise your thoughts in some of the more difficult times. Rather than dwell on the negative, the track instead looks to offer some moments of inspiration and motivation in fitting Happy Days fashion, instead looking to focus on how to affect situations in a more positive way.

‘Girlfriend’ follows and at first unfolds as a slow-paced love ballad, taking time to painstakingly detail all of the little things and intricacies that a significant other does to make life easier or more straight-forward. You can’t help but feel that there is a slight hint of darkness to the sound and in the lyrics, hidden somewhere within the sentiment that gives it an almost unsettling feel at times.

This track is followed by ‘I Wish You All the Rest’, a track that moves at a brisk pace while detailing a troubled and complicated relationship that seems to be coming to an end. The matter-of-fact vocals on the track and the upbeat nature that contrasts the more sombre lyrics makes for a really multi-faceted feeling that leaves you feeling unsure how to feel, articulating the wave of different emotions and feelings that are explored through a rollercoaster of a track, all while maintaining their wonderfully low-key indie-folk style.

Their calm and relaxing sound is compounded with a wonderful pedal steel performance by Ben Lester on ‘The Wind’ and the delicate guitar picking on ‘Half Moon’, more potent examples of their laid-back style that again use all of the nuance and charm that their sound possesses to create two distinctly atmospheric moments that almost transport you to somewhere altogether new, full of tranquillity and calm.

The potent and uplifting tone of ‘You Are Not Alone’ makes for a powerful moment as we draw towards the album’s conclusion, celebrating the weirdness that is within all of us and using it as a way to create a kind of solidarity and oneness for people and to make us feel a little bit less alone out there in the world. The reassuring message and intimate soundscape does a really nice job of creating a nice and resonating feel throughout the track.

The humour of the duo shines through on ‘Hey Girl!’, creating a gorgeously composed and intimate soundscape to build up to the chorus “hey girl, i’m fed up with you baby”, making for a weird juxtaposition between the sound and the lyrics that feels contradictory and bizarre in enthralling fashion. Exploring unrequited love from the perspective of the person feeling nothing makes for a really unique listening experience, and is a really bold way to round out an album that has largely surrounded themes of optimism and positivity throughout.

Happy Days is an album that is packed full of nuance and thoughtful appeal, happy to lull you into a serene and familiar feel within its sound and themes before surprising you with lyrics that veer off into unexpected directions or narratives that takes sharp left turns. It all makes for a really fun and exciting listening experience that manages to feel gripping and memorable while never really steering too far away from a laid-back indie-folk sound, delving into personal experiences and unique perspectives to create a lot of what makes the album feel so real and leave such a lasting impression.