In this age of quotidian nihilism, of pervasive and boundless jadedness, you might be forgiven for being taken aback when
someone says to you: “I hope you’re happy.” It’d be easy to load that phrase with acerbic meaning, to interpret it foremost as coming from a place of spite and sarcasm. And nine times out of 10, you’d probably be right. But in the case of seminal musicians Blue October, the statement is disarmingly sincere.
It’s a surprise, to be sure. But “I Hope You’re Happy,” the title track representative of the Texas outfit’s new release in both word and sound, is the first burst in a salvo of overwhelming positivity—a sonically abundant, rich, lusciously atmospheric, lovingly produced record.
Early fans of the band’s work, those who haven’t kept track of the band’s journey in its latter years, might be hard-pressed to recognize the foursome—comprised of Ryan Delahoussaye, the band’s multiinstrumentalist; Matt Noveskey on bass; and brothers Jeremy and Justin Furstenfeld, the band’s drummer and front man, respectively.
The group, once known for its stormy dynamic and self-destructive tendencies, couldn’t be more distinct, today, from the band it once was. And the members of Blue October want everyone they encounter to know the great place they’re in, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. “We’ve had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and we’ve come out the other side,” says Noveskey, who describes the record as “emotional.”