Before getting too far, let’s get one thing straight: “Happier” is being credited as a Marshmello track with a feature by Bastille, but this is 100% a Bastille track through & through, merely produced by Marshmello who added a more positive vibe to the morose track nearly a year after the fact – Why is this important? Well, because it explains how the composition of this track is so much more cohesive than Marshmello’s typical fare, presenting listeners with a well-rounded melodic structure which ebbs & flows with reasonable fluidity, an understandable narrative arc that relies on story development rather than a hype-worthy phrase to be shouted during the choruses & a much more reasonable range of dynamism, feeling tonally consistent rather than jumping from supreme low-points to abrasive highs like his usual tracks. Everything is bright & active in a way that feels natural & progressive, resting heavily on the expressiveness of Bastille’s vocalizations & more Pop-centric appeal, only harnessing Marshmello’s electronic instrumentation for that added punch of modernization that helps break Bastille out of their Indie Rock persona.
Vocalist Dan Smith – the man behind Bastille – delivers a devastatingly selfless narrative throughout “Happier,” taking place as the inner monologue of a conflicted personality within a waning relationship, going over the ways in which he wishes things could be better between he & his partner. What seems like a simple story about doing more to impress your lover suddenly switches gears upon reaching the final line of the chorus, wherein Smith utters the line “I want to see you smile but know that means I’ll have to leave,” revealing to the listener that this is not – in fact – a tender tale about settling your differences & coming together as a unit, rather it’s about taking the high road & cutting out of a bad situation when you know you’re the problem; This is an absolute wildcard in the world of modern Pop music, as most Artists vehemently refuse to admit they’ve ever wronged anyone in a relationship, immediately placing Smith’s lyrics above the competitors as he attempts to encourage his listeners to think of someone other than themselves, taking care not to drag someone else’s life down just because you’re unable to forfeit when the time is right – When supported by the brilliantly colourful & expressive synth horns & Trap beats of Marshmello, “Happier” really comes together as a complete package, a beautiful blend of heartwarmingly relatable lyrical substance & jubilant instrumentation that just want to make you…well, happier!
Christopher Comstock, Dan Smith, Steve Mac
"Happier" is a song by American music producer Marshmello and British band Bastille. Written and produced by Marshmello, with lyrics from Dan Smith and Steve Mac, it was released by Astralwerks on August 17, 2018. It reached number two on both the UK Singles Chart and the Billboard Hot 100 and is the highest charting single for Marshmello in both the UK and the US. It is also Bastille's highest charting single as well on both charts surpassing their 2013 single "Pompeii"'s number five peak on the Hot 100 and tying at its number two peak on the UK chart. It also logged 27 weeks in the top ten of the Hot 100.