Blaine Campbell’s “Happy Faces” is Big Stir Digital Single No. 51. It will be available for download on 11/8/19, and you can pre-order it here.
Blaine Campbell’s “Happy Faces” is a welcome visit from the “gentle folk” era of the sixties. There are echoes of the Beach Boys that are closer to the more introspective Pet Sounds era, rather than the full-throated orchestral roar of tracks like “Sail On Sailor.” It has that peaceful, introspective tone of so many great folk-rock harmony groups from days gone by.
The single features Blaine being backed by David Cook, Chris Moore and Natalie Fratino, collectively known as the “The California Sound.“
The tracks also have a touch of the home-made melancholia of early Paul McCartney albums like “McCartney” and “Ram.” “Happy Faces” is a story song, filled with light-hearted characters. “I want to show you…new and different places…where they can discover, all those happy faces…” There’s also a sweet little Mama Cass / Michelle Phillips Mamas & The Papas “ba ba ba ba, ba ba ba ba…” harmony vocal.
“Movin’ On” is reminiscent of the instrumental “Let’s Go Away For A While” from “Pet Sounds,” although it has wordless harmony vocals throughout it. As I said above, the two words that encapsulate what’s happening here are “melodic and gentle.” It’s a perfect antidote to a year that can be, at times, discordant and brutal.