The Horns of Happiness are all around you. Stretching across the countryside and delving into the deepest sea, they create and are created by all existence. They can be found in boisterous days of celebration and rebirth along with the quiet whispers of defeat and loneliness. A song to lift your feet through uncountable joy and complete distress. In this case, The Horns are interpreted almost entirely by songwriter Aaron Deer as he has witnessed their actions and reactions throughout 2001 and 2002. As core member of both the Impossible Shapes and John Wilkes Booze, Deer has established himself as a ferocious live performer and inventive collaborator in the studio.
For his second album utilizing the Horns of Happiness moniker, he showcases his prowess on virtually every instrument (with some help by Impossible Shapes members Chris Barth, Jason Groth, Mark Rice and Peter King). Like a glorious pillow fight in the heavens between Paul & Linda McCartney and Grandaddy, A Sea As A Shore is full of fuzzed out psychedelic pop songs composed with acoustic & electric guitars, pumping organs and dreamy vocals. They are interspersed with instrumental interludes where pianos mingle, banjos bark and tape loops shuffle. Built upon simple, spontaneous parts, and sculpted onto the tape, the songs as a whole take the listener by the hand guiding him to the revelation that music – in its most humble state – can transport the listener to another place. Fans of Maher Shalal Hash Baz, the Microphones and the Olivia Tremor Control will find a good friend in A Sea As A Shore. The album sets those who are receptive to such things to witness a period of utter confusion and expansive growth for its author and those around him. Channeled onto tape are days of frolicking on sunny hillsides, nights in cold dark basements, and seasons of watching everything around him collapse then rise again. Though these are accounts by one individual, their themes are of those we have all witnessed. You have heard The Horns of Happiness before.