Video: Linying, ‘Happiness’

Linying (Photo by Michelle Mei)

Silver Lake-based Singaporean singer-songwriter Linying makes airy, earnest indie-pop that’s balm for the spirit as well as the ears.

Linying, who first gained broad attention for the single “Stick Leaves” in 2016, released her debut album last year. “There Could Be Wreckage Here” featured a host of collaborators, including Chris Walla (ex-Death Cab for Cutie) on “Daylight Blows Into One Door” and MILCK on “Shhh.” She returned last month with the four-song EP “House Mouse” (an affectionate nickname bestowed upon her by roommates because she kept a low profile and often snacked on cheese).

“House Mouse,” made principally with co-producer Jon Graber and featuring musicians such as Jordan Blackmon (touring guitarist for Toro y Moi), is highlighted by “Happiness,” a dose of post-breakup euphoria. “I used to feel all endings with one-dimensional grief, but this one had complexity,” she says. “There was pain and liberation but also fear; there was the thrill of new desire, so messy and lighthearted at the same time. And then there was the peace of knowing it was all going to be OK. It was blissful and instinctive, and the song kind of wrote itself.”

Michelle Mei directed the video for “Happiness,” which was filmed on a trip to the Phillipines. “We traveled through Siargao over 10 days with Michelle’s expensive camera and my toy camcorder, filming whatever we wanted, and only when we felt like it,” Linying told NYLON, where the video premiered. “We surfed, we shared meals with new friends, we bathed in rock pools and painted our faces with clay pebbles and devoured coconut after coconut (in all imaginable forms). I’d scramble into an outfit and full makeup once we saw that the light was good, and we’d shoot without a plan, looping the song over and over but never getting sick of it. I also think we gave a pair of fruit sellers on the street what was possibly their highest grossing day on record. My biceps were sore the next day from lugging bags and bags of watermelon and papaya. It was wonderful. I couldn’t forget it even if I tried, but I’m so glad we have this to remember it by.”

||| Watch: The video for “Happiness”

||| Stream: “House Mouse” in its entirety