'Quarantunes' with Hockey Dad
Despite their self-confessed 'slacker', DIY beginnings, Australian duo Hockey Dad are eager to break the mould, keeping critics and connoisseurs on their toes. On recently released third album Brain Candy, drummer Billy Fleming disclosed: “When we were making the demos, it was kind of exciting. I feel like there will definitely be an element of surprise when people hear it.”
Produced in the hallowed city of grunge, Seattle, Hockey Dad have adopted a discernibly cerebral aesthetic to match their maturing worldview, with tracks 'Germaphobe' and 'Itch' even playing with apocalyptic (dare I say, pandemic?) imagery. Eerily prescient, don't you think.
Not to say they've entirely abandoned their penchant for sun-kissed, radio-friendly hooks, and down-to-Earth lyricism, however - the rambunctious duo took Taylor Swift to the sword in the official Australian albums charts last week (which seems to be a common occurrence in most countries.....), a valiant effort and no mean feat considering they only started the band to battle boredom.
Speaking of boredom, Hockey Dad have been through the ringer like the rest of the global music industry. Having spent so much time at home, there's been plenty of time to scroll through endless playlists, absorb recommendations, and re-kindle former favourites. We caught up with Fleming who's done exactly that. Get around it.
Crag Mask - 'Waver // Pacer'
This song came out right in the peak of our first lockdown in Australia. I fell in love with this song instantly and I knew I'd be holding it close throughout the next few months. Our good mates Vundabar recommended this song and I couldn't be more grateful. The tempo plays such a strong role in this song, rolling along so seamlessly throughout. It honestly couldn't be any more perfect.
Pure X - 'Middle America'
The beauty of spending so much time at home is being able to endlessly scroll through recommended songs on your streaming platforms. After grinding out on shuffle for hours on end, thinking you're never going to find another new song to obsess over, there is always one just around the corner. It turns out Pure X have been around for quite some time, although this new album of theirs slaps. It's pretty much fuzzed-out-country which is amazing.
Broadcast - 'I Found The F'
The harmonies between the synth and guitar, the drum roll leading into the first verse, the way the bass just grinds on throughout. Everything about this song is so satisfying to listen to! The rest of this album is a real nice blend of psych and electronica, which is a combo I can definitely get around.
Sorry - 'Perfect'
This song rips! "It's your choice you know where the door is" is such a sick line. The call and response is one of my favourite things in songwriting, and they have nailed it with this. Pretty sure we were meant to share a lineup with Sorry in the UK together at some point last year. I sure hope it happens one day. It would be great to see this live.
Knocked Loose - 'Mistakes Like Fractures'
Knocked Loose was the last gig I went to see before lockdown. Every now and then, when I sit there and think about how much I miss live music, I'll throw on this album and start pitting in the lounge room by myself. This whole album would have to be the heaviest release I've heard in years. Such a sick band.
The Cardigans - 'My Favourite Game'
Another great thing about spending so much time in the lounge room is throwing on all of your old skate DVDs you haven't seen in years. One of these DVDs that struck a real nostalgic chord with me was skate film Almost Round 3. Chris Haslam's opening part of the vid (check it here) is one of the most iconic parts for me, and this accompanying song is etched into my brain forever. That huge kickflip-to-fakie just as this Cardigans song kicks in, oooofft.
Brain Candy is out now via Farmer & The Owl / BMG. To hear more from Hockey Dad, click here.