In the final months leading up to summer of 2022, Will Liu ’24 made a spectacular entrance into the realm of experimental rock. “The Happiness Incident,” Will’s debut album containing nine meticulously crafted songs, is available across major music platforms. “I have always wanted to have my own album […] For me, music is a way to communicate with the world and a way to understand myself through introspective thought, and this album was created mostly as a reflection of my thoughts,” Will explained.
The process of composing music is no easy task, never mind the intense journey of recording, editing and mastering an entire album. Of course, Will did not conjure musical delight straight out of thin air—from whom or what did this album derive? Personally, I believe that Will is zealous for experimental music. Will said, “I listened to a lot of experimental music that spoke to me in their unique ways. I also listened to a lot of post rock with bands like ‘Godspeed You Black Emperor’, who would use a non-lyrical form of storytelling.” Will loved the usage of tension and “weird sounds” in the music of his favorite bands. The listener hears a wealth of these elements in Will’s music. Will even claimed to have been inspired by the creative song titles given to different “movements” within songs.
The creation of this album was not smooth sailing. At first, Will struggled with being consistently inspired. “I find that the most important and often hardest part of music isn’t writing the music itself, it is knowing what you are writing about. I had to read things, listen to things, think about things and write everything down in order to have something meaningful to express through music, and it really just comes through patience and introspection,” he said. This was not the first time Will attempted to create an album. “Most of the projects were scrapped because I either [came] to a point where I [could not] continue with it anymore or the idea of the album lost its relevance to me. Hearing “Deathconsciousness” by ‘Have a Nice Life’ really solidified my motivation to finish this one, because it was a home recorded album written by two guys under an extremely tight budget,” Will continued. Will could certainly relate to the duo, as he himself had recorded the entire album within his Bradford dorm room!
It became clearer to me as the interview progressed that “The Happiness Incident” came from a truly sincere place. The album was not created for the sake of anything else but, as Will had repeatedly stressed, self-reflection. “I love music and it’s really the only place where I can comfortably express myself. I want to pursue music for the artistry and see where that takes me,” Will told the Centipede.
For me, “The Happiness Incident” was an immersive, meaningful and absurdly wonderful experience. The tracks “A Day in the life of Anon” and “Calendar” have garnered much attention and acclaim from audiences. The ever-reverbing bass and spontaneous melodies driven by the hardy-sounding guitars communicate almost desperately to the listeners; the percussions offer the occasional strong kick in the mostly unpredictable fashion; and the otherworldly, nebulous vocals are the icing on the cake. Most importantly, all the bizarre components of this album blend together, lending the listeners a jarring but harmonious sensation. Words can never describe the magic of music, and as closely as I have attempted, I reckon it is still best to experience first-hand “The Happiness Incident.”
Will, otherwise known as weirdfish, acknowledges that he still has a long way to go, “The music industry is a mess right now, and it is extremely hard for an indie or experimental musician to survive […] I would definitely love it if enough people can appreciate my work to the point where I can have a career in music […] Maybe I can luck out or start making music that is ‘too good to ignore’.”
Finally, Will wanted to thank everybody who has helped him develop his musical career. “I want to thank Nate Tucker for helping me through the different stages of this project. I was able to show him my music in our songwriting sessions and I got some really valuable feedback. He also helped me master the album. I also want to thank everyone who listened to my music, supported it on Bandcamp or bought a copy of the album on CD. It means so much to me.” Way to go Will!