Album Review: happy ending | Blooodhound
In this mini-storm of comeback albums from creators very dear to the Sanctum, today I’m especially happy to be spending time with BLOOODHOUND’s latest, kaleidoscopic release happy ending which makes her follow up to 2021’s haunting R.A.T. Back then I was stunned by the way the artist makes music that feels creepy yet warm and familiar at the same time. But let’s see where we find BLOOODHOUND today >
As ‘Fake Life’ puts the listener somewhere between the world of dreams and the real one, BLOOODHOUND kindly greets us and seeks for honest connection in a world where faking happiness tends to become a standard behavior. Even though the artist’s expression feels effortless and friendly ‘I think I should do it more often, you know, be myself’, we are still unsure about her words being heart-felt or acting in front of an audience of followers who look for a ‘happy’ role model to obsess over. Food for thought before we move on to ‘sunsett’, which had me surprised in the best way possible, coming from an artist as esoteric as BLOOODHOUND. ‘sunsett’ is one of the most ‘Low-Profile’ bangers I’ve ever listened to, think of Billie Eillish but far more experimental. The unexpectedly arousing, minimal beat combined with the distorted chorus of charming vocals makes this piece feel alien, but coming from an elf-like alien race that looks adorable, smells like candy and loves to jump up and down 24/7. And I’m not even high. This definitely goes in my top 3 of this album.
Fading into ‘dream’, we are offered low-fi magic in a way only BLOOODHOUND can deliver, oneiric, abstract and cosy in its darkness. What needs to be pointed out here is how the artist manages to give that much value to simple, everyday encounters and dialogue. As a person who feels deeply uncomfortable making small-talk, I appreciate this musical approach beyond I can even express. Human communication always seems to be a foundational material for the artist’s brainchilds and that’s indisputable. ‘rotor’ confirms this statement as an all-swallowing bass melody that makes the carpet for a full spectrum of emotions to unfold through heart-warming dialogue and storytelling.
The strings of the beautifully sorrowful ‘maerd’ sent me back to R.A.T for some reason, incorporating BLOOODHOUND’s distinctive phone-call elements and otherworldly vocals. As the listener is cheerfully greeted by an almost crying voice -a deeply sad contradiction- we stand before the concept of a person who desperately tries to keep everyone happy despite their inner hell consuming them. An underestimated form of self-violence. The blazing, down-pitched hip-hop performance closing ‘maerd’ gives the dramatic climax needed, the space for this feeling of oppression to outburst. This sentiment is furtherly explored in ‘sunrise’ through a more ‘pop’ prism one would say. Maybe the most mainstream entry in happy ending, if ‘mainstream’ would ever describe BLOOODHOUND’s case accurately. The heavy beat and melancholic instrumental manage to bring a sensual flavor to the table for the very first time, another unexpected turn of events that leaves the listener with much more than what they signed up for. Let’s not be surprised if we ever spot ‘sunrise’ in a sex playlist next to THE WEEKND. Personally, I’d be glad to.
‘REAL life’ opens acapella, earthlier than every piece before that while still bearing all the famous wonder and ritualistic atmosphere we should be familiar with by now. Bell synths, crawling percussion and worn-out recordings complete the typical BLOOODHOUND image. It’s like walking on the creaky, wooden floors of the house you grew up in, observing black and white photos of your long-gone parents frozen in moments of happiness. No matter how abstract the project here is, the artist always knows how to make room for what’s most important and emphasize on key subjects: ‘I understand if you’re nervous’, ‘I noticed you looking at me’. The lack of self-confidence, the countless forms of anxiety thriving in this day and age, the need to nurture our mental health and make sense of this mess of a world.
Throughout this journey and especially towards its end, I felt like comparing happy ending not to similar music (let me know if you find it), but to films in the likes of Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko, Von Trier’s Melancholia or even Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream. BLOOODHOUND expands her vision and evolves her restless persona in genius ways, incorporating new styles that would once be tough to imagine. The opposite is true. Not only everything falls into place but this chapter makes for a super seamless transition from her R.A.T album as well as a significant piece in BLOOODHOUND’s puzzle. The Sanctum is very much looking forward to what follows after this but for the time being, happy ending ticks all the boxes. Until next time!
Enjoy happy ending here: