This week’s Audacy Alternative "Pick of the Week" is Jagwar Twin's "Happy Face."
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There are two sides to every story that ebb and flow on a continuum moving ever closer to equilibrium. Light changes to dark, failure into success...we are at war with the world; we are at war with ourselves. It is in the ever-present pull between opposite ends of the spectrum that art and creativity flourish. In letting go, we often find ourselves; this is Jagwar Twin.
“Happy Face” is a defiant, ricocheting ball of energy, as the artist sardonically harmonizes about the fake smiles we’re forced to wear in the digital sphere. It’s like Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four with disco lights, and surpassed the total streams and reach of previous major label single ‘Loser’ at four times the speed. “Tick Tock, Tick Tock, ticking like a time bomb!” he chants, almost sarcastically. This powder-keg of stadium rock also touches on the emotional baggage we create while smiling to curate our digital selves.
A hyperactive melodica rages over a break beat as English howls about the “death of my generation”. For the award-winning smile-triggered digital experience of “Happy Face”, users were forced to hold a smile while watching a series of dystopian images on their screens. With this being the only place to hear the song, fans that lost a smile would cause the screen to melt, but smiling for the duration would unlock a limited edition merch capsule.
He insists the single, which recently crossed 30 million streams on Spotify (and growing), graced YouTube’s top 100 songs list, is in the top 300 TikTok sounds, has over 100,000 Shazams, and 45 million views of user generated content, ultimately acts as a hopeful rallying call. “I want to show there’s a way out of this collective fog and into something better,” says Roy. “But that is something everyone has to find for themselves.”
"The world has been upside down for quite some time but most of us haven't even been aware of it until now as it seems more in front of our faces than ever. Most of us have been programmed from the time we are born with fears that we spend our lives trying to uncover and unlearn. Even while the world is burning around us, we tend to put on a 'happy face', hold a smile, and continue going on with our 'normal lives'. Our individual superpowers are blocked by complacency driven by media messages of distraction. Because of this split in the human psyche, so many of us feel depressed in real life ... 'happy' on social media. But with the world burning we are inevitably moving towards rebirth and our generation is opening their eyes. Sometimes things that no longer serve us need to be burned away for something new to grow out of the ashes. One must surrender oneself, die to self, in order to be born again. World’s gone mad, let’s start the show."
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