Soft Hair have had their fun and certainly left an impression.
Label: Weird World
Released: October 28th 2016
Soft Hair is the bonkers partnership between New Zealander Connan Mockasin and Sam Dust, ex of Late Of The Pier and latterly LA Priest. Befitting of two of the more idiosyncratic pop experimentalists their debut album together is frequently baffling but brilliantly compelling.
The genesis of Soft Hair is long and winding. The recording took place around the globe in a variety of different locations over the last 6 years. The result is a kind of patchwork album of disparate sounds and eclectic rhythms and grooves that shouldn’t work but somehow slots together nicely.
The album begins with the slightly disconcerting bubbling yacht rock of ‘Relaxed Lizard’ which flutters by on a wayward groove. It’s all very knowing and playful but that’s the most engaging concept of this record. Soft Hair don’t take themselves seriously at all.
There’s nothing overtly conventional about Soft Hair and not too many bangers but there’s something insidious about these deep grooves and their own brand of sleazy off kilter funk. You can kind of dance to songs like ‘Alive Without Medicine’ but perhaps like it’s creators you won’t really know what you’re doing but you’ll pull it off.
There is serious skill at work though from two musicians who are unafraid to throw everything at a song and who have no boundaries. A sense of freedom and expression runs rapid throughout the album. It gives everything a joyous quality, particularly on the funk slow jam ‘Lying Has To Stop’. The moments when Soft Hair place their wonky focus on the dance floor provide the albums clear highlights rather than the sort of ambient indulgence of ‘I.I.V’ which draws the album to a disappointing close. No matter though, Soft Hair have had their fun and certainly left an impression. Martyn Young