Slender Pins have released their latest single today - ‘So Happy (90% Of The Time)’. This bright yet blunt track shuns weighty politics and favours escapism. Providing a much-needed shot of optimism in somewhat turbulent times, this song provides a thin veil above some more harrowing messages.
Narrator and lead singer of the band, Ash, negotiates a life that sits largely in positivity (90%). Alas, the mind wanders in the other 10%. Therein lies the dark heart of this track. Darting between spoken word verses and soaring choruses, the song is turbo powered by a jumpy rock-flecked guitar and a purring bassline. The performance of such lines as “I’m a pretty optimistic kind of guy... I’m so happy… ninety percent of the time” is so nonchalant yet swaggering. The deeper meaning can almost be lost within a delivery reminiscent of a Sports Team witticism (à la ‘Happy (God’s Own Country)’).
Ear-grabbing guitar tones and bends strike parallels to early 2000s indie rock, such as Jet’s 2003 hit ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl’. Comparisons aside though, this song fits into its own bracket and continues the band’s solid body of work. The song was recorded at Squarehead Recording Studio in Kent and was produced by Jon Hucks. This one follows such eccentric tunes as ‘Where’s the Money’ (2022) and their most popular song ‘Apprentice to Life’ (2020).
“Thinking too much about the shortness of life and the vast, overpowering indifference of the universe generally leads to mixed results, at best,” says guitarist Alex. “However, that is the feeling we attempt to commit to tape in this autumnal banger. Is it angst? Only if you let it be.
“The song's main riff came to me while brooding, weak and weary, on a train to rehearsal. Upon playing it to Ash he leapt immediately into the chorus and the rest of it sprung from there.”
Slender Pins have been bombarding audiences with their abrasive rock sound and frontman Ash’s energetic stage performances since late 2018. Initially, songwriters Alex and Ash bonded over their mutual love of acts from ABBA to The Stooges and shared an obsession with history. On a cold January day, they made a pilgrimage from Camden to Abbey Road and decided that they would form a band. Their goal? To try and restore guitar music to its former glory. Drummer Ed was recruited after booking the band to play a gig and they haven’t looked back since.
The band’s new wave and punk-rooted music has attracted support from the likes of BBC Music Introducing, This Feeling, ‘Mayor of the Sunset Strip’ Rodney Bingenheimer and ‘godfather of the south London music scene’ Pat Lyons. At this rate, with highly promising songs like this, long may their musical mission continue unhindered.