“Have you ever rocked to a cello?” asks The Happy Fits. The band is a rare cello-fronted pop trio, formed by high school students in 2016 in Pittstown, New Jersey. The Happy Fits’ popularity rocketed as its members pursued higher education, leading classically-trained cellist Calvin Langman, guitarist Ross Monteith, and drummer Luke Davis to drop out of school to pursue their artistic dreams. The trio’s trajectory continues shooting skyward. The Happy Fits’ current tour promotes the third and most recent album, Under the Shade of Green, released on August 26.
At Webster Hall, the Happy Fits demonstrated how rapidly the band has matured in a short time. The young musicians mastered stage dynamics that many older bands have yet to achieve, continuously engaging the audience through dialog and movement. (Langman impressively danced and worked the stage while strapped to a cello!) The lyrics were engaging, often exploring the transition into adulthood and adult relationships, and other times exploring the discouraging state of the world through an optimistic lens. Most importantly, the music embraced the most vibrant elements of classic pop music, with sweet harmonies, playful rhythms, and slightly off-kilter yet anthemic arrangements.
The Happy Fits is a pop band for the new generation. The music offers much-needed brightness in darkened times. The band may not be able to save the world, but the live performances can make audiences steadfastly happy for 90 minutes.