Pop satire that hits the spot
“Answer me this, are you happy?” So sings the online life coach in Chris Tavener's pop-rock satire song for the Youtube generation.
In a modern world often focused on fostering dissatisfaction, 'How To Truly Win At Life' is a song brimming with ironic humour, and soothing melodies hiding a darker truth.
It was written during the difficult era of UK Covid lockdown, when Tavener observed a new influx of online adverts from laughably brazen, so-called life coaches hoping to take advantage of the depressing times for financial gain. The almost surf-rock sounds with a powerful infectious chorus take you away to a tropical paradise, as the exaggerated lyrics speak of a dream lifestyle.
The incredibly uplifting, guitar-fuelled energy in 'How To Truly Win At Life' is matched with subtle minor undertones of deception afoot. There's an epic instrumental arrangement that creates a musical playfulness akin to Randy Newman or Elvis Costello, with a rousing choir and buoyant guitar riffs.
The single is the first from Tavener's upcoming EP 'Easy Ways To Be Happy' that focuses on millennial frustrations and modern measures of success. The new classic-rock-influenced, five-song EP will be released later this year.
About Chris Tavener Jangly-guitar rock and a biting sense of humour meet in the satirical stylings of Chris Tavener. A deft lyricist with an acerbic wit, Tavener writes his storytelling songs from the perspective of flawed characters that he draws from 21st century life.
His cynical social commentary, dressed in punchy, uplifting pop-rock and acoustic ballads has won him acclaim from BBC 6 Music and multiple BBC Introducing stations. He's popular for his unique and theatrical live performance that has seen him sharing the stage with Super Hans, Emily Capell, Tony Hadley, and Peter Hook of Joy Division, whilst also writing songs for the likes of Sir Ian McKellen. Growing up in Northwich in Cheshire, Tavener was always keen to go against the grain. While his peers were listening to the top 40, he was watching old George Formby films and listening to old concert recordings of Randy Newman. Since he first took up songwriting, he has performed at Glastonbury Festival, The Great Escape, Latitude Festival and The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In 2018, he released his first live album and embarked on an 18-date European tour through France, Germany and The Netherlands which was soon followed by a UK joint tour with Gavin Osborn. Following the tour, he appeared at the famous Lowry Theatre for BBC Radio Manchester’s Christmas Extravaganza. In 2019, Tavener toured Ireland, both North and South of the border, before releasing a much-anticipated video collaboration with Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. His song was the centrepiece of a short animation, in which Tavener co-starred on vocals with national treasure, Sir Ian McKellen.
When the 2020 pandemic hit, Tavener took his musical wit online performing live streams and supporting acts including Britain’s Got Talent’s Micky P Kerr. A stream he recorded with BBC’s Mark Radcliffe became one of the first to air on Sky’s new 'Showcase TV' in April 2021, BBC Upload Festival selected, and broadcast his pandemic song ‘The Folks I Know’ in a programme celebrating lockdown art.
In 2022, Tavener will release 'Easy Ways To Be Happy', a rock-inspired EP that interrogates modern measures of success through his keenly sardonic style and energetic sound. His latest work also contains some of his most sincere and emotionally-raw lyrics, as he explores the common insecurities of life and love.
”An interesting lad with an elastic turn of phrase” – Steve Lamacq, BBC 6 Music "Nice set. Kinks-y vibes” – Carl Barat, The Libertines “The idiosyncratic but ever so loveable Chris Tavener. Try and see him live, he really creates an amazing atmosphere” – Mark Radcliffe (BBC Radio 2)