Today’s Song: Weathers’ “Happy Pills” and the Coming-of-Age Struggle

Recommended If You Like: The Eeries, Young Rising Sons, Sir Sly, Bleachers

I take my pills and I’m happy all the time

There’s something insatiably compelling about the chorus in Weathers’ new song “Happy Pills.” It appeals to the individual’s sense of incompleteness – of shooting for the stars, but only reaching the moon. It relaxes into a fog of drug-endorsed haze, where emotional fulfillment is easily gained and sustainable. But most of all, it’s just an insanely catchy tune.

We can go to my house if you wanna
Hang out in my bedroom, lose your honor
Even if they find us, we’re apathetic
And they can’t take that away

Listen: “Happy Pills” – Weathers

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In case you missed their debut single “I Don’t Wanna Know,” Los Angeles alternative band Weathers make an unforgettable impression on followup “Happy Pills.” A pop song dressed in glitzy rock garb, “Happy Pills” is quintessentially Millennial (and post-Millennial) – for to be a millennial and beyond means to aspire to greatness, only to realize it’s a long way to the top if you want to rock ‘n’ roll. Nevertheless, that’s what many of us ’90s+ children were told from the start, whether it came from our parents or from a Disney movie: We can do anything we set our mind to.

It turns out that’s not entirely true – in fact, it’s not even a little true. But damn, did we believe it at the time!

Weathers "Happy Pills" still

Weathers "Happy Pills" still

Now those kids have grown up, and we’re all young adults: Old enough to drive a car, drink a beer and die for our country, but young enough such that we have no idea what to make of real life. The glimmering hope of eternal success – of being everything we want to be, and more – is still something we sort of believe in. Sort of. We’re clinging to that, kicking and screaming, while also coming to terms with the realities of the “9 to 5.”

The members of Weathers are “social media-saturated kids who grew up in an insecure world and raised by financially stressed parents affected by the economic downturn. It’s no wonder that a skeptical, unsettled mood permeates the songs that the Los Angeles-based band has written.” Entitlement without reward can result in two things: Self-medication to maintain an unrealistic fantasy, or acceptance and chameleonic assimilation into a brave new world. “Happy Pills” finds Weathers caught in the middle of this conflict, and so they choose a little of column A, and a little of column B.

How do you strive towards an ideal while your life more closely reflects the drudgeries? The days of rocking and rolling all night, and partying every day are behind us, but we find other ways of evoking those same “cheap thrills.”

The voices in my right brain are kinda funny
They tell me “take a deep breath, it’s always sunny”
But where I leave the lights on
It’s so obvious that my life’s pretty plain

The members of Weathers know what real life is: Their verses expose every twenty-something-year-old’s deepest insecurities about the world, which, as it turns out, is a scary and lonely place! We’re not spectacular; we’re ordinary people – we take it slow, despite the fact that we want to go fast! Our parents pushed us out of the nests after teaching us how to fly, but we didn’t comprehend how hard it would be to fly against the wind and through storms. “Where I leave the lights on, it’s so obvious that my life’s pretty plain,” sings vocalist/guitarist Cameron Boyer in the song’s second verse. He sings it so plainly that the observation feels almost obtuse; he wishes things weren’t so unnervingly blah!… but they are, because that’s life.

Weathers (courtesy of the artist)
Weathers are lead singer/rhythm guitarist Cameron Boyer, guitarist Cameron Olsen, bassist Brennen Bates, and drummer Cole Carson

Faced with “real life” and the options at our disposal, we now have that all too important decision to make. One option – and we all know someone (or multiple people) for whom this route is a reality – is to go running for the shelter of a mother’s little helperThat’s right – this isn’t a millennial concern; this is a timeless, existential coming-of-age struggle. We know our lives are dull – at least, duller than we thought they would be – but we can start it up with a “Happy Pill.”

Then, we won’t have to bother with bearing the burden that comes with the knowledge that we didn’t live up to our “potential.”

It’s hard to tell if Weathers approach recreational drug use and abuse in a jovial or critical way – after all, music is art, innit? “Happy Pills” may be symbolic of something more than these stills from their “Happy Pills” music and lyric videos:

Weathers "Happy Pills" still

Weathers "Happy Pills" still

Watch: “Happy Pills” – Weathers


… or maybe not. “Happy Pills” won’t likely be synced in any MADD advertisements anytime soon, and that’s perfectly understandable. But if a music writer may break the ‘fourth wall,’ don’t use drugs as an escape when music is just as effective an outlet.

Happy Pills - Weathers
Happy Pills – Weathers

“Happy Pills” is about nostalgia for utopia. Weathers capture the aftermath of world-shattering realizations jading our childlike sense of wonder. We want to be happy. Does anybody remember laughter? Weathers do, and they refuse to forget it. “Happy Pills” is a pressure-cooker rock song that explodes in the chorus like a show of defiance. Weathers’ music occupies an “indie pop/rock” sonic space between Young Rising Sons and FIDLAR; “Happy Pills” feels unnervingly like what Sir Sly’s music would be if the band tried their hand at uplifting music.

Happiness; sadness; positivity; complexity; numbness; depression; cynicism: You can find whatever you want to find in Weathers’ “Happy Pills.” An infectiously catchy anthem blending indie and alt rock music with a rebellious punk attitude, “Happy Pills” is a safe space for us to breathe in the music, and breathe out the troubles. Aspire to be happy all the time.

Catch Weathers on tour this summer and fall with Nothing But Thieves and Saint Motel: Don’t miss this up-and-coming artist to watch. Youthful and vibrant and unafraid of indulging in their insecurities and humanity, Weathers give us relatable music and relivable moments.

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Discover more new music on Atwood’s Picks

:: Weathers 2016 Tour ::

* with Nothing But Thieves // ** with Saint Motel

7/22 – New York, NY – Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2 (8pm)
7/27 – Cleveland, OH – The Grog Shop*
8/2 – Toronto, Canada – Velvet Undergound*
8/3 – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground Ballroom*
8/4 – Allston, MA – Brighton Music Hall *
7/28 – Chicago, IL – Lollapalooza**
9/15 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues**
9/16 – Los Angeles, CA – Belasco Theatre**
9/17 – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall**
9/18 – Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades**
9/20 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom**
9/21 – Seattle, WA – Neptune Theatre**
9/23 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex**
9/26 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom**
9/27 – Santa Fe, NM – Meow Wolf**
9/29 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom**
10/4 – Houston, TX – House of Blues**
10/5 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues**
10/7 – San Antonio, TX – Paper Tiger**
10/10 – St. Louis, MO – Delmar Hall**
10/11 – Lawrence, KS – Granada Theater**
10/13 – Minneapolis, MN – Varsity Theater**
10/14 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave II**
10/16 – Indianapolis, IN – Deluxe**
10/17 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues**
10/19 – Boston, MA – Royale**
10/20 – Washington, D.C. – 9:30 Club**
10/21 – New York, NY – Webster Hall**
10/22 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer**
10/24 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s**
10/25 – Nashville, TN – Cannery Ballroom**
10/27 – Charlotte, NC – The Underground**
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