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Album Review // MODERN MAPS ‘hope you’re happy.’

Southern California trio Modern Maps make a bang with their Rise Records debut, hope you’re happy.

Packed with infectious riffs and captivating electronics, there are no shortages of moments on the album that will make you want to rock out and dance along to it.

Speaking about the record, the band said:

‘hope you’re happy.’ is a year’s worth of self-discovery and hard work to show the world the best representation of our band. We hope that these songs find you and that you join us on the road ahead.

This message is clearly echoed in the thoughtful lyricism found on the album. Opening track Autopilot features confessional lyrics such as “I need someone to take me over / Someone to come and take control now”. A rousing instrumental introduction invites the listener to let their hair down and dance, with an electronic and guitar melody that is sure to hook you in immediately. The infectious vibes carry over into Heatwave, and before you know it, you’ll be screaming along to the chorus as Trever Stewart’s vocals soar over a bass heavy accompaniment.

For me, Ahold Of Me was a standout track that really stuck in my mind, even after the album had finished playing. A haunting introduction with a fragile guitar and tender vocals is sure to grip on to you and tug at your heartstrings. The use of orchestral strings and cymbal rolls heightens the tension and drama, and the lush soundscape of the track just oozes warmth and envelops around you. As the track slowly grows and builds, the drumming gets more intense, culminating in a shattering chorus, where Stewart’s piercing high notes will send shivers down your spine and leave all your hairs standing on end. You can feel every emotion coursing through your veins.

Displaying a more tender side with acoustic song One More Night, it’s brutally honest with the listener. You can definitely imagine this song playing on the radio on a rainy day, as you stare out the window gloomily. Lyrics such as “Somebody come save me / Somebody come quick / I’m out on this road alone” expose a raw side to the band, as they strip clear of all pretence. Prepare your tissues for this song.

Final track Something Different features a stellar vocal performance, as Stewart smoothly transitions between clean vocals and more passionately strained shouts. The echoing bridge adds an introspective dimension to the song, and despite the texture being more stripped down, it certainly is no less impactful than the soaring chorus.

Full of impressive songs, hope you’re happy. is a record that will linger in your mind for a long time. It’s a great debut from Modern Maps, and we can’t wait to see what they do in the future.