Elle Mary & TBMElle Mary & The Bad Men‘s debut EP, Happiness, may not conjure out images or feelings of the title. On the contrary, the music is deep, dense, and brooding, creating a sense of foreboding as oppose to glee, in much the way Nick Cave has challenged us.

And like the great musician, Elle Mary & TBM use a lot of irony in their music. The album’s title, for instance, is the band’s way of telling us that happiness isn’t something achieved easily nor can be gained by material things, but can only be felt within our innermost souls. “Husband” and the painstaking “Rose” best depict the veils that cover of our eyes, where we want to believe that things are great but they’re not. It is only through this realization where happiness can be achieved, but sometimes it is not.

“Monster” also is an introspective tune. But unlike “Husband” and “Rose”, Elle Mary & TBM beckon one to be released from the attachments and those around her to find meaning. It is a call for individuality, self-discovery, and, most importantly, self-preservation.

But the music, too, is ironic. Beneath the melodic, droning tone, there is a message of hope. That while we may be depressed or have a sullen life, not all is lost. As she sings on the stunning title track, “Take your troubles to the woods / Hang them up to dry / Take your worries to the bridge / Throw them far and wide”, Elle Mary shouts out to all those willing to hear that another day is on the horizon. The opening track, “Falling”, might be the most self-explanatory track on the album; a song about feeling defeated but only to find oneself on the rebound.

Happiness at first listen may leave one flabbergasted by the complexity of the music and lyrics. But after repeated listens, the thoughtfulness and sincerity of Elle Mary & TBM are heard. With a voice and style that immediately recall Lady Lamb (when she was known as Lady Lamb the Beekeeper), Elle Mary & TBM are able to draw you in with each note. And like the indie darling, Elle Mary & TBM aren’t here to sing sweet nothings, but their intentions are to create music that challenges and moves you. With Happiness, they’ve achieved this and then some.

Happiness can be purchased on Bandcamp and listened to in its entirety on SoundCloud.

Website – www.ellemarymusic.com
Facebook – Elle Mary & The Bad Men
Twitter – @ellemarymusic

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