Prior to their 2005 break-up, New York’s My Favorite had developed quite a name for themselves, thanks to their immaculate take on ‘80s new wave, synth-pop, and alternative rock as well as frontman Michael Grace Jr.‘s droll, melancholy lyrics filled with tales of alienation, youthful rebellion, and romantic angst. My Favorite’s music contained all of the right influences — e.g., The Smiths, New Order, The Cure — but the band’s music incorporated them all so flawlessly that it never felt like a rip-off or even homage, but rather, something fresh and vital.
The band reunited in 2014 and released some new music, including 2016’s “Christine Zero/Killed For Kicks,” but the band’s earlier material could be more difficult to find. Thankfully, the band has been steadily re-releasing that material, culminating in the recent reissue of their 2003 magnum opus, The Happiest Days of Our Lives, which compiled various earlier EPs along with remixes from the likes of Soviet, Flowchart, and Future Bible Heroes.
If you’re a fan of any of the aforementioned groups, or you enjoy shimmery, jangly pop music wedded to lyrics that’d be pretentious if they weren’t so poignant — examples include “A talent for my own destruction is all I’ve ever owned,” “A pathetic mythology is better than no mythology at all,” and my favorite, “Loneliness is pornography to them/But to us it is an art” — then I really can’t recommend this one enough. (Read my original review from 2004.)
The 2019 reissue of The Happiest Days of Our Lives isn’t exactly the same as the original 2003 release from Double Agent Records — the track listing and order is different and it’s missing some remixes — but it’s still an absolutely stellar collection of indie-pop that feels as timeless as it does nostalgic. What’s more, it may be a harbinger of even more new music from My Favorite, if the band’s Facebook activity is any indication.
Oh, and here’s my new favorite (npi) bit of music trivia: one of My Favorite’s earliest incarnations featured “Captain” Kirk Douglas on guitar before he became a member of The Roots.