Swedish band Miike Snow broke onto the indie scene in 2009. With their self-titled debut album, they unleashed the single "Animal" into the world and watched as dozens of TV shows, movies and video games snatched up their catchy synth-pop songs to use in their soundtracks.
The band's members have written for the likes of Madonna, Kylie Minogue and Britney Spears, and did some remixing for Depeche Mode and Kings of Leon. Despite these accomplishments, Miike Snow still remains tucked away in the corners of the independent music universe.
The band's sophomore effort, Happy to You, is an amazing album. It works nicely from start to finish, and each song stands out individually. It sucks you in from the opening- the appropriately titled "Enter the Joker's Lair." "The Wave" and "Paddling Out" are worthy successors to "Animal"- they work as Top-40 hits while still impressing the band's most hardcore fans.
Not everything on the album is infectious synth-pop, though. "God Help This Divorce" is about as melancholic as music can get. "Bavarian #1 (Say You Will)" has a high school marching band drum line, and is surprisingly emotional and tender.
Happy to You is Miike Snow at its best. The band accomplished something great here- the album manages to maintain a fantastic duality throughout. It's happy and sad, upbeat and mellow, lyrically and musically strong. Now if only these Swedes can get the attention they deserve.