Gracing the cover as Adam & Eve’s curiously seductive protégé’s, Samuel Dust of LA Priest, and Connan Mockasin bring fourth the new faces of the alternative pop scene, Soft Hair, on their debut eight-track LP of the same name. And though Mockasin’s Butlins days may have long surpassed him, his songs about lizards certainly haven’t: opening track “Relaxed Lizards” serves as the finished product that fuses together spacey, jangling melodies from other-half Dust, determining a rather wonderfully kooky agenda for the remaining 7 tracks to follow.
The best thing about ‘Soft Hair’ is that, while it’s a sincere effort to rejuvenate a kind of early 2000’s, synth-pop mood, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. The aforementioned track embraces warbling and whimpering notes that are brazenly novelty, but Dust’s sophisticated vocals respectively bring them back down to earth. Follower ‘Jealous Lies’ then cements a foundation of Groan Tube noises and reggae semblances that aren’t particularly conventional of the pair, but are soon given Dust’s spacey vocals to preserve its modesty.
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A minute and a half of directionless reverb on ‘I.V’ rings in the groundwork on ‘A Goood Sign’, which does little more than throb when it ought to thud, and subsequently leaves the album’s 6 minute mid-section somewhat trivial. But, the preceding two tracks are by no means the only two that leave you questioning the sprightlier intentions that were felt on the opening track. In fact, the remaining 18-and-a-half minutes act as the perfect soundtrack to your recreational meditation; where “In Love” and “Alive Without Medicine” light the spliff resting comfortably between your fingers, album closer “L.I.V” tucks you into bed, as interweaving tides of watery synth gradually leave your eyelids heavier than ever.
It would not, then, appear far-out to call Soft Hair as the future heads of modern-day funk, with this debut record as the organic stimulus to do just that. Like Tame Impala on LSD or Sonic Youth on Xanax, their trippy melodies are unrivalled, and give us listeners the impression that these two musicians aren’t done having as much fun as the tuneful tumult on this eponymous LP suggests.