Start your week with a Happy Face. Specifically, Horror Dance Squad’s new single Happy Face, their second release of 2020.
Despite the cheery name and melodic start, Horror Dance Squad’s fresh release has some dark surprises.
For vocalist Ian Karell, the story behind the song is one of special significance. “I wrote this song during a particularly dark period in the life of a good friend of mine. He was faced with an injustice we never could have believed possible which tore into my belief in the justice system and in humanity. I have always tried to hang on to the mantra that life only presents you with the tests you are ready to handle, but at any point in life we may find ourselves faced with trauma or tragedy that leaves us asking “what did I do to deserve this and how the hell am I going to get through it?” At that point, our faith is put to a test. This song is about that moment when you question your faith in whatever it may be—God, spirituality, science, the justice system, the greater good, humanity—when you are at your lowest and feel helpless to do anything about it. And yet you still try to put on that ‘happy face’ and survive.”
“When Ian came to the studio with the story and lyrics we knew the vocals would have to be a bit gloomier than we usually go for,” vocalist Karl Mesipuu recalls about first working on the song. “ I related to the lyrics immediately as I was in a lower place in my life at the time, especially with the line ‘I’m sure I’m not the only one that doesn’t want to be the broken one.’ This not only represents my struggle but the struggle that many of us go through when we also lack the ability or courage to talk about it.”
Single release is accompanied by the official lyric video, purposely filmed in the portrait mode to highlight the intimacy of the song’s theme. “We wanted the viewer to feel slightly uncomfortable while watching the video—to show them that these are situations where the victim is often suffering alone and cannot find a voice to express themselves or maybe unjustly silenced from speaking the truth,” Ian adds.