While you may once have equated Sub Pop Records with grunge and grunge only (and while you may once have been right to do so), the legendary Seattle label that brought you Nirvana has outgrown this type cast since the glory days of grunge and gone on to back artists like The Shins, Beach House, Avi Buffalo and Handsome Furs. Adding to an already solid roster is Happy Birthday, a raw, buzzy three piece from Vermont who would probably sound like The Beach Boys if not for their gritty lo-fi aesthetic – take track “Girls FM’, for example. The band formed in late 2008 when Kyle Thomas’ stage fright made him too nervous to perform by himself. Pals Chris Weisman and Ruth Garbus joined him for what was supposed to be a temporary gig, but had so much fun that they stuck together after that. Don’t let their almost impossible-to-Google name stop you from getting to know them, if you live on the west coast you can track them down on tour this summer, and their self-titled, debut LP was released last March.
By Carly Lewis