Turn off your television. Turn off the news. With terrorism and war making up the headlines, it’s easy to fall into depression.
But for one night, there’s an escape, when Canadian electro-pop star Lights, alt-pop crew The Mowgli’s and synth-poppers Phases take over Irving Plaza tonight. There may not be three happier, more optimistic acts in music today, performing up-tempo pop songs with big, bright choruses and smile-inducing melodies.
But not all versions of “happy” are the same. Which band’s form of good cheer will put the biggest smile on your face? Here’s a few handy ways to characterize and differentiate the brands of jubilation on display Wednesday night.
Type of Happy:
Lights: I-can-do-anything happy
The Mowgli’s: Family-campfire happy
Phases: Getting-ready-for-a-night-out happy
Lyrical Mission Statement:
Lights: “Singing every song, loving every line, ’til the night is gone, just like the old times.”
The Mowgli’s: “I’m good, living life just like I should, wouldn’t change it if I could.”
Phases: “Feeling good ain’t going out of style … I’m in love with my life.”
Moment of Reflection:
Lights: “Slow Down”: “When I was young, you were only a ghost, taking old friends, leaving me alone. When we are gone, tell me where do we go?”
The Mowgli’s: “The Great Divide”: “The city lights have left me nearly empty; they’ve replaced the stars that used to shine so bright.”
Phases: “Lonely Days”: “The dreams that never came, lost somewhere in starlight/Lonely days, lonely nights”
Lights: Pogoing around the dance floor
The Mowgli’s: Shouting along with the choruses
Phases: Bobbing the head and striking a pose
If you go: Lights, The Mowgli’s and Phases play Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. at Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Pl., 212-777-6800, $25-$45.