A foggy pier, a stop motion Lego-style grand prix, the gorgeous greens of a gold course, an open stretch of highway; these eclectic visuals comprise the landscape for which AV Super Sunshine will deliver unto us his all-new music video for “Are You Happy (Radio Mix),” one of his new record Candyland, Vol. 1’s signature songs. Aside from the melodic sway of the music, the video for “Are You Happy (Radio Mix)” has almost nothing in common with the mainstream half of alternative rock at the moment; it’s boastfully zany, abstract but not really absurd, and deliberately overwhelming on most every front. To put it quite simply, “Are You Happy (Radio Mix)” is everything that once made alternative music so exciting trapped inside of an edgy, four minute journey into the center of AV’s surreal mind. It’s on the level of what I expected to find in a new single bearing his name, but it also features a stylish color in its bravado that is, from where I sit, a new addition to AV Super Sunshine’s already stimulating sound.
The video is a sterling concept piece, but it’s the sexy beats that steal the show in “Are You Happy (Radio Mix).” They’re wrapped around the bassline at the start of the track and slowly unravel before us, pendulously filling in the space behind the vocal with a lot of enthralling echo and reverb. Whenever the synthesizer tries to smother us in neon melodies, the vocal is there to even out the sound with a light, sharp midrange that waters down some of the synth blows (in a good way, I should add). I think that AV Super Sunshine probably put a little more work into this mix than he did with the club mix of “Are You Happy,” mostly because the details within the instrumentation sound so much more pronounced and brutish here than they did in the alternate version of the song. Candyland, Vol. 1 fires off a lot of variety in its multiple mixes of stone cold AV sizzlers, but for all of the diversity in its tracklist, its clean, hook-laden tunes like this one have tended to make the biggest impression of me as a listener.
Psychedelic rock and clubby electronic pop come together to make a melodic marriage that will hypnotize audiences this summer in the music video for AV Super Sunshine’s “Are You Happy (Radio Mix),” and I for one find it to be one of the most awesome additions to his constantly-expanding discography thus far. AV’s bravado leads the way in both the video and the single versions of this song, and if you haven’t already had the chance to experience his sound firsthand, this is a really excellent way to get to know the man and the musician responsible for Candyland, Vol. 1. He’s an experimentalist who knows how to submit something stable in tone as well, and he uses everything that his skillset can muster in this latest release to make a big mark on an ever-evolving scene that is desperate to find its footing in a new era of rock n’ roll music. I like what I’m hearing in this track, but I’m even more curious to see what will come next.