Happy Landing on spring tour, headlining at The Lyric on March 31

Published 10:00 am Sunday, March 19, 2023

Local band Happy Landing will finally take the stage at The Lyric on March 31. After only hitting the stage in Oxford at Proud Larry’s before, the band will play the venue.

Local fans can expect a show and a new song on the same day. Along with the much-deserved spot on The Lyric’s stage, the band will release their first single on March 31 from their newest EP that’s set to come out in May.

The song is titled “Carry On, Carry On” and talks about a particular time in lead-singer and acoustic guitar player Matty Hendley’s life.

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The band’s inception actually began in New York City, when Hendley wrote their first single while he was interning at 60 Minutes and a student at The King’s College in Manhattan.

Hendley came back to Oxford and found the other members of the band – Keegan Lyle Christensen, Jacob Christensen, Wilson Moyer, and Oxford-native Andrew Gardner were all students at the University of Mississippi at the time, including Hendley.

When the ensemble first started, there were initial emails sent to The Lyric asking them for a spot on the stage. Hendley reflected on that moment versus the feelings associated with finally getting the opportunity.

“I remember sending an email to The Lyric after the first Proud Larry’s shows and being like, ‘Hey, we’d like to play here,’” Hendley said. “They were super sweet about it. We had no business playing The Lyric then. But, they were super nice about it, and they could have just been like, ‘Kid, you’re not going to play at The Lyric.”

“We kind of feel like we’re graduating from Proud Larry’s in a way. But, it’s also a bittersweet feeling, because we’ve had so many cool memories there. It helps to know that it’s basically the same people that are working at The Lyric and Proud Larry’s together on shows. So for us it’s: How can we find a bigger room to fit more of our people in? More of our Happy Landing family, and The Cubhouse. I think it’s a testament to the support of the community that we’ve felt since the beginning.”

Happy Landing has released two EPs already, the first titled “Just Kids at Heart” released in 2020 and the second being self-titled as “HAPPY LANDING” which was released in 2022.

“October,” one of the band’s most played songs on Spotify hit over 900,000 listens this year, as they were featured on one of Spotify’s new indie music playlists.

The first single ever released in 2020, titled “She’s Got Brooklyn” comes in second for the most listened to on Spotify with over 100,000 listens.

The five-member band has spent the last few weeks touring the United States for their 2023 Spring Tour, performing on stages in Nashville, New Orleans, and Austin. The band announced a headline position at Double Decker Arts and Culture Festival last year.

To come home during this tour and perform on a stage that they’ve always dreamed of is very exciting they say.

“I know that even before this tour started, I was already looking forward to that day,” Pianist, bassist, and lead-singer Keegan Lyle Christensen said. “Because everytime I go back to Oxford, it feels super special to be back where we all went to college. Every time you come back to Oxford, it feels a little bit like you never left. We’ve already grown so much as a band, so to come back and each time we come back, to keep increasing the amount of people that come to our shows, is very special to us.”

The journey to The Lyric has been one the most exciting opportunities for the band, as they have been on several fall and summer tours, as well as sharing the stage with some more popular band names – such as American indie folk bands, The Head And The Heart and The 502s.

Happy Landing’s music is described as “canyon rock,” pulling influences from their own personal music tastes and creating meaningful songs about life and the struggles that life takes us through. The crew believes their music makes people want to be carefree and nostalgic, sometimes meaning being those things in nature. Hence, their new name for their music being “canyon rock.”

“We want our music to feel like you’re on a road trip or that you’re on spring break with your friends,” Bassist, electric guitar player, and singer Wilson Moyer said. “It’s nostalgic, exciting, adventurous, and youthful. However, there’s always going to be threads of some hard, tragic stuff in there.”

The band is preparing for their first national headline tour this fall.

Doors open for their Lyric debut at 7 p.m.. Tickets can be purchased on happy.landing.band or thelyricoxford.com