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Dad Rocks! – Mount Modern
Mount Modern - Paper Garden Records
Dad Rocks! – despite sounding more like a statement than a band title, the Århus, Iceland act is a name that fans of fluttery indie won’t want to pass by. Formed on the foundation of quirky ideas and the mellow yet effective pop hooks of Snævar Njáll Albertsson (this is a solo project with a cast of eight touring members), his debut full length, Mount Modern, captivates with an undeniably unique charm.
While currently sharing a home between Father Figure Records, Big Scary Monsters Records, and Paper Garden Records, the band would be a natural fit on Nordic label Polyvinyl Records amongst contemporaries Loney, Dear and Owen. Tracks like “Downaging” and “Major Labels” feature dreamy, head-in-the-clouds piano arcs and a tranquil meandering acoustic oasis. But stopping there would sell the band short. Albertsson’s knack for catchy melodies mean songs like “Weapons” and “Battle Hymn for the Fox Father” shares striking similarities with California indie-pop outfits like the always infectiousCoconut Records.
Not particularly danceable in nature, their casual insertion of pop-culture references like “Youtube” and “Twitter” perks ears and maintains interest. “Funemployment” in particular finds a way to make a chorus about purchasing a certain royal fast food chain surprisingly endearing. Albertsson grafts a premise of far-spanning life options from the mundane to the bizarre, juxtaposing possibilities of writing “a song about sex and sing[ing],” with “start[ing] a family,” and tying each chorus together with the statement “or you could buy a Burger King.” As unlikely as that looks in writing, the overarching musical continuity and strength of songwriting overcomes the odds, making Mount Modern a coherent and well-presented body of work.
Overall, Dad Rocks! has crafted a surprisingly assertive take on mellow piano driven indie rock. Icelandic pop often saturates in overindulgence, but Dad Rocks! makes this a non-issue. And to top it off, the album holds a Creative Commons license, meaning you can feel free to share and distribute it among your friends without – and I quote – “being branded a criminal.” So get out there and check out Mount Modern, and you too will soon know how much Dad Rocks!