Produced, engineered, and mixed by John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Kurt Vile), Happiness Hours features some of the sunniest, most ebullient songs The Sidekicks have ever recorded—all ringing guitars, charging drums, and soaring vocals. That dynamic is more than apparent on the infectious lead single “Twins Twist,” which premieres today.
With its warm harmonies and shining melody, bouncing groove and bittersweet lyrics, “Twins Twist” also reveals the more narrative-driven direction that The Sidekicks pursued in creating Happiness Hours. As vocalist/guitarist Steve Ciolek explains, those narratives reach squarely toward a kind of universal experience.
“They are relative to my life, but they aren’t just about me,” says Ciolek, whose bandmates include drummer Matt Climer, guitarist/vocalist Toby Reif, and bassist/vocalist Ryan Starinsky. “Unlike when you’re a kid, when every song has to be about falling in love or breaking up—about me, me, me—you get to a point when you really want your art to be inclusive. You want everyone to be able to locate themselves somehow in your songs.”
Formed in Cleveland in 2006, The Sidekicks made their debut with 2007’s So Long, Soggy Dog and followed the album with 2009’s similarly punk-influenced Weight of Air. The band embodied a more melodic sound with 2012’s Awkward Breeds, and fully showcased their tightly honed pop sensibilities on Runners in the Nerved World. Produced by Phil Ek (The Black Angels, The Walkmen), Runners in the Nerved World drew praise from the likes of Pitchfork (who noted that the album “hearkens back to the widescreen indie rock of Built to Spill, the Shins, and Band of Horses”).
The Sidekicks also announce a string of East Coast dates for this May. Tickets go on sale Friday March 30 at 10am local time.
THE SIDEKICKS TOUR DATES
May 18 Chicago, IL – Subterranean
May 19 Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups
May 20 Cleveland, OH – Mahall’s 20 Lanes
May 22 Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle
May 23 Brooklyn, NY – Alphaville
May 24 Boston, MA – Great Scott
May 25 Washington, DC – Black Cat Back Room
May 26 Cincinnati, OH – North Side Yacht Club
May 27 Pittsburgh, PA – Smiling Moose