Continuing where 2014’s Rooms With Walls And Windows left off, Not Even Happiness is another showcase for Julie Byrne’s melodic gift.
Happiness is the work of an assured songwriter confident enough to rely on her abilities without resorting to bombast; she’s rarely accompanied than anything other than her guitar, and if any other instruments appear they blend in intricately with the atmosphere, her voice remaining the core driving force. She has a brilliantly deft grasp of songwriting: her songs are neither cluttered nor minimalistic. There’s so much going on at once, yet she never tries too hard to impress.
Every song on this album is full of abstract imagery and shifting, dense atmospheres that never falter or sound unassured.