rewind: You Might Be Right - Happy Accidents
words: Matt Latham
rewind takes you back to a previously released album that we don't want you to miss.
During my lunch break at work one day, I opened my phone and randomly thumb-typed a bunch of words on what I’d do if I could time travel. The first thought I had was to go back in time to go to a bunch of early gigs from my favorite bands. Wouldn’t that be great? Though if everyone could time travel would they do the same? I pondered on the image of several front-people of several bands confused when they sell out a 100-capacity venue and everyone sings that unfinished song they wrote last night. The other idea was to make a younger version of myself listen to a lot of songs that past-me would find very relatable. It’s very annoying when I hear songs and immediately they describe me at other times in my life. Happy Accidents’ You Might Be Right is full of songs like this.
I’m not naive enough to believe that listening to this album whilst I was younger would’ve sent my life spiraling in the direction that would’ve led me to a happier early twenties; a couple of songs strike very strong personal chords. Ten years ago, 21-year-old me was exactly what the song Leaving Parties Early describes. A mixture of social anxiety and fully believing that there’s something wrong with you for not wanting to be as social as everyone else. It’s relatable - it makes you realize that you’re not alone — that it happens to other people.
Relatable is a word that comes across a few times as you listen to this. There’s a lot about self-doubt, second guessing and taking a very pessimistic view by default. The opening track’s called "But You’re Probably Wrong" which is followed by the album’s title: "You Might Be Right". But then there’s a touch of positive affirmation in which you start to look back on darker periods and get surprised about why they had such a strong hold on you.
The album has this great little mini-war with itself celebrating the little victories over apathy and pessimism with realistic optimism. Whilst most of the lyrics feel as if they’re overwhelming dour - the odd turn of phrase and general upbeat indie-pop nature of the music still encourages to keep on going. Even the slower songs, "Feel the Same - Unfavourably" and "Quiet" feel like they’re downbeat commentary on life and social interaction yet there’s the slight upbeat of acceptance throughout. Again there’s the relatable aspects (those people you know but not particularly fond of, public transport) and how the band's lead vocalist Rich Mandell mini arc of acceptance turns out to be sage advice or at least a nod in the right the direction.
The album peaks with excitement at the right times to fit the tone that the band wants to convey. Occasionally, drummer Phoebe Cross provides backing vocals and has her own moments to shine to contrast some of the harsher and honest lyrics that Mandell sings. As if there's a calming influence on the feel of the album that leads to the aforementioned acceptance. It ties into the message of the first song: things might feel bad by default but there's still the fact that there's still good in the world. Which is why this album ends up being more positive than first thought and worth a listen or ten.
I’m probably wrong, but I might be right.