In a cloud of white noise, AV Super Sunshine’s marvelous new music video “Are You Happy (Radio Mix)” kicks off with its unstoppable synthesizers and elegant rhythm, which will soon form a wave of sound that any music lover could get swept up in if they’re not too careful. The synths cry out for our attention, but they quickly give way to the chant of AV’s vocal, which is as smooth as the grooves accompanying it are. The music is quite distracting, but not so much as to prevent us from enjoying the psych-tinged video’s fun-loving images, which often feel more like excerpts from some twisted dreamscape than they do the typical rock video content you’d see when browsing new uploads on YouTube. AV Super Sunshine wants us to shake and swing here, but his mission isn’t limited to inspiring a collective summer dance with “Are You Happy (Radio Mix).” He wants us to find happiness in the humble day set before us, and with a song like this on the stereo, he makes it a much easier feat for anyone listening to accomplish.
At first, I thought that the visual aspect of the music video for this single was a bit overstimulating, but upon closer examinations, I started to fall in love with the very overstimulation that I had once found a bit too hard to handle. The symbolic highs and lows of depression, bipolarity and post-traumatic stress disorder are represented here poignantly, with the animated (though still ultimately inanimate) characters translating the silent screams of the somber without ever having to contribute a single line to the song. If we get down to the nitty gritty of “Are You Happy (Radio Mix),” this is a supremely emotional depiction of humanity’s strive to be accepted, well-adjusted, and loved by the world we see around us. It doesn’t have to spew a dirge of drumbeats nor a flurry of minor key fretwork to get the bigger point across to us; AV Super Sunshine doesn’t follow the formula of the status quo in this new video, and subsequently delivers something that I think most fans of urbane rock music will find to be a really relatable analysis of the question that its title so bluntly asks us.
He’s made some really fun music in the last four years since the release of his debut album Baby Goodbye, but the video for “Are You Happy (Radio Mix)” is definitely the sharpest stuff that AV Super Sunshine has dispatched in his time in the limelight. It’s an evolved sound from the outline provided to us on Bass Face, and while it’s fearlessly experimental, it doesn’t try and change the pop music model with its angular EDM/rock fusion. I get the impression that the last thing AV wants is to be lumped in with his peers in either of the genres that he takes so much influence from, and he’s doing a good job of staying out of the scene politics that have prevented so many other acts with his level of ambition from making a solid impact on fans. “Are You Happy (Radio Mix)” is a top shelf offering from a top notch recording artist, and I sincerely recommend giving it some of your time this June.