"I'm supposed to be happy"—five words that we have all heard ourselves utter at one point or another in our lives. Don't get me wrong, many accomplishments and milestones do deliver on their unconditional euphoria promises, but more often than not, we realize that what we were chasing wasn't happiness after all, but false acceptance through someone else's eyes. If you know what I'm talking about, then Stay Over's latest single, "Happy", is the anthem you've been waiting for.
Giving a voice to the thoughts that cross our minds during our daily feed scrolls, Oliver Feighan's alter ego poignantly points out the flaws in a socially accepted definition of happiness. "What if I don't fit the mold that they want me to be?", he ponders out loud over a bass-controlled harmonized chorus. Making references to all the usual expected routines—working out, having a picture perfect profile, watching all the right shows—he quickly exposes the futility of trying to keep up just to be happy. The production then acts like a rubber band, loosening up with long, hollowed out synths before tightening up with short percussions and timely claps. It's the outlet for his bubbling resentment, calm and poised during times of introspection, and angry and loud when given the chance to process it all. "'Happy' was inspired by me trying to figure out my life," he confesses over email. "Trying to find ways to bring my life meaning when I feel like it has none. I was back at the house I grew up in for a few days and it made me feel a lot of emotions. It made me miss my childhood. It made me miss when things were easy. The song is really about me being okay with not feeling 100 percent all the time. It's life. Things come in waves. Happiness is one of those things."
Ever since joining Cocoon Malibu's incubator and taking on Cisco Adler's guidance, Feighan's songwriting has given way to more cathartic verses, as noted on this most recent release and the previous, "Breaking Glass." There's an ease to the confessional vocals, as every breath lets go of more caged emotions and held-in trauma. Even the animated video, created by fellow Cocooner Scuba Steve, points to a more a lightweight version of the West Coast singer. Whether it's the newfound support system, or simply the calm view of the ocean every morning, it seems that Feighan is becoming a brand new man. And his music—our brand new friend.