Happiest Kind Of Sad On New Single “Are We Okay?”

Growing up in the suburbs of Sydney, Mitchell Lemsing also known as The Happiest Kind of Sad is a alt indie singer-songwriter, taking inspiration from artists such as Bon Iver, Clinton Kane and Alexander 23. With his first release out at the mere age of sixteen, over the last three years Mitchell has been evolving and honing his sound to become a soulful and honest artist both lyrically and melodically. With colourful acoustic tones and ambient soundscapes, THKOS provides a melancholy yet warming space for listeners to reside in. Over the last year alone he has gained over 70,000 monthly listeners and 2,000,000 streams on Spotify alone. With a raw and honest sound, he has slowly been growing his audience and fan base through this year and the last. With his songs landing on Spotify playlists such as “Coffee and Chill” and “Chilled Afternoon” The Happiest Kind of Sad has started to make himself known within the Aussie music scene. Mitchell answers a few questions about the new Are We Okay? single for Hi Fi Way.

How exciting is the build up to your new single Are We Okay?
This is the first piece of material I’m releasing after almost a whole year, so I am beyond excited to have something coming out again. I took a step back from producing new music for close to a year, as I felt I wasn’t releasing content that was my absolute best, instead I spent most of 2022 writing and collaborating with other artists. I thoroughly enjoy the buildup of excitement that accompanies the production and release of music that I’m proud of and it’s nice to have that feeling return after a break.

What is the story behind the single?
I released a version of Are We Okay about two years ago, however since then I’ve grown in my music production skills, broadened my music taste and fine-tuned this piece to make it as good as it could be. As for the meaning behind the song, this piece captures my headspace during a time when I’d ended a relationship only to regret that decision shortly after. I wrote this song two years ago and as I’ve fine-tuned and progressed with this musical piece the song has also taken on new meanings for me. Music and song writing has this way of capturing a moment in time forever, enabling the writer or listener to recall and relive these moments through music.

Did the ideas for the song come quickly?
As I mentioned earlier, I had previously released a version of this song, this helpfully provided a base for the renewed production of this song. Izaac Wilson, who produced this song and the whole EP for me was also a huge part of the piece coming together. He provided fresh new ideas, constructive criticism and fine tuning from a different perspective, allowing my music to take on a whole new potential. Izaac has worked with a lot of indie rock bands which is quite different to the style of my music yet this contrast of ideas and experience added so much more to my songs sonically than usual. Once we got into the studio, ideas flowed naturally and the music came together smoothly.

How would you describe the rest of the EP?
The first word that pops into my head is probably honest. These song’s are basically a look into my mind from the last year, and everything that went on in it. It can be quite scary to be honest in songwriting but I felt that these tracks and the feelings I am conveying are commonly felt by people from all walks of life. So I hope that people can relate and use my songs as an escape and are space for themselves when they are feeling such things, and know that it’s a universal thing people are going through. Sonically, I feel like it’s a new chapter for me, lots of synths, guitars, drums! Very different from my usual stuff but still keeps the same feeling that people connected to in the first place.

What did you think when you played the finished version of the EP back for the first time?
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! I think mainly because until then, everything I’d released and made was all from my little bedroom studio, so to have been given the opportunity to work alongside such talented people and record in such a beautiful place was all just a crazy experience. It took the songs I’d imagined in my head and brought them not only to real life but to places even better than I imagined, so I’m immensely proud of the project and how it’s turned out!

How would you compare it sonically to some of your other music?
The real cool thing I love about this EP is that sonically some of the tracks have familiarities of my previous music, like close acoustic guitars, string sections and breathy vocals but then other tracks are completely new soundscapes that I’ve never attacked before. Are We Okay in particular is so different from anything I’ve released before, yet I think it’s my favourite track on the EP.

Are you building towards another album or EP in 2023?
Definitely an EP, I feel like I’m not really at a stage where I’d want to release an entire album yet. I love the idea of having an album of mine out one day but I want to do it right. You only have one debut album so I want make sure it’s the right time. In the meantime I’m going to learn, grow and experiment with music as I work towards making these dreams come true!

Who are some of your musical heroes you look up to for inspiration?
The biggest inspiration is definitely Bon Iver or more specifically Justin Vernon, as he was the reason I even picked up a guitar in the first place. His way with lyricism is unfathomable to me, he just creates the most beautiful songs out of often pretty dark emotions. So if I’m ever in a rut or feeling unmotivated I’ll chuck on a record of his and instantly want to write something again. Apart from him, I listen to a lot of Matt Corby and Novo Amor and to work with either of them would also be a dream come true.

Are you looking forward to being able to tour more broadly around the country over the summer?
I cannot wait to get back on stage and play all these new songs! Apart from writing, playing live is definitely one of my favourite things to do. Seeing everyone who supports my music is so inspiring and motivating and the atmosphere is something else!! Everyone singing and dancing together in the one room, they are some of my most memorable nights. Although I’ve only played shows in Sydney, I’d love to get around the country and tour on a wider scope this year, so definitely a possibility for 2023!

Musically speaking are you feeling optimistic about 2023?
I think this year is going to be great, the time I took to step back last year gave me a lot of time to write new music with some really cool artists and producers and it’s content that I am really excited about. With this EP finally coming out, after being in the works for a good few months, it’s extremely exciting and I cannot wait to see how people respond to it. There’s lots to come in 2023 and this EP is just the start!

Interview By Rob Lyon

Connect with The Happiest Kind Of Sad
Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Spotify

%d bloggers like this: