Christian Hulting is happy, and he knows it.
So happy, he writes songs about it like on titled "HAIKI," "Happy and I know it." But luckily, he didn’t add a "clap your hands" chorus in that one.
Just the upbeat, groovy and eclectic music his band Minneapolis-based West of Aldine produces.
Hulting, the lead singer and songwriter, and his band will perform in Siouxland for the second time on Saturday (Nov. 30).
The band took the Fridays on the Promenade stage last summer and scheduled its upcoming concert at the Chesterfield, 1225 Fourth St.
The group has performed upwards of 80 shows, Hulting said, in little more than nine months while traveling around the Midwest.
The relatively new group, only two-and-a-half years together, has been to about 10 states in that time, Hulting said, including a stop at South by Southwest -- a week-long music festival that takes over the streets of Austin, Texas.
"It was a great time to get moving," Hulting said, "and some pieces started falling where we it was like, 'Holy cow, we can go see the country doing this.' Let's do it."
They also went on a tour of high schools in Minnesota and Michigan to promote arts education. During the process, Hulting said they built a younger fan base and plan to return to a downtown St. Paul high school.
"We had this amazing response from their student body,” Hulting said of Harding Senior High School in St. Paul.
The group donated 20 percent of their merchandise sales to the high school arts programs during each stop. The group hopes to turn the project into new opportunities like a tour for an anti-bullying campaign.
"You realize you are impacting these kids," Hulting said. "It's not just show up and play."
Like most semi-professional musicians, they started out playing in the school marching band.
Jesse Mattila, on drums, played in a blues rock family band. Zach Grusznski studied jazz guitar performance in college. Anthony Maahs, on keyboard, adds a heavy bass, dance groove beat to the group’s sound.
As the songwriter, Hulting said he tries to keep his foot in multiple boxes from hip-hop to classic rock to avoid the Fray -- a band Hulting said he loves -- mentality with albums of similar sounding songs.
That variety of sounds comes out in songs about happiness and hope, something Hulting referred to as a "happy and aggressive standpoint."
"Get happy," said Hulting repeating lines from "HAIKI." "Love life, baby. It’ll never come again."
As a result, West of Aldine’s music doesn’t leave much room for standing still.
"Happy and I know it" has become West of Aldine’s unofficial catchphrase with merchandise branded with the phrase.
"Bad shit happens to everybody, right?" Hurling said. "The one thing people don’t really think about is hope."