Australian surf-rock duo Hockey Dad is set to release their follow up to 2016’s debut Boronia with their sophomore album Blend Inn which is set to drop on February 9th (today!) via Manchester Indie label LAB Records.
The beauty of Hockey Dad is how relatable they are. Best mates first, bandmates second – the heart of Hockey Dad has always existed in the friendship between duo Zach Stephenson and Billy Fleming who first met in early childhood, growing up two doors apart in the unassuming, laid-back coastal town of Windang, Australia.
The foundations for the band began in early 2013, where an underage Fleming and Stephenson would sneak into their local live music haunt to catch their favorite bands. Eventually, they were granted regular slots playing to an ever-growing crew of enthusiastic friends turned fans. In 2014 they released their Dreamin EP and were finalists in the prestigious triple j unearthed high competition.
Fast forward to 2016 where the duo released their debut album Boronia which celebrated the long days of summers past, of mates, the ocean and the sublime naivety of youth. Whereas their sophomore album Blend Inn is Fleming and Stephenson growing with more perspective, following a year of relentless touring which took them far from the streets and waves of their hometown. The album encapsulates being young and having fun intermixed with relatable issues, below are my album standouts.
We learned about Hockey Dad through their lead single Homely Feeling and we’ve been enamored since. It’s a jagged banger that is an ode to their roots; In a way, the lyrics of this song reflect on trying to find that ”Homely” feeling all the time. It’s sure to be a perfect music festival rager because it’s the type of tune that will have you craving cheap beer and jumping into a crowd for the perfect crowd surf to feel infinite.
The track I Wanna Be Everybody speaks on a topic that hits very close to home for myself, social anxiety. Those moments when you’re surrounded by a sea of people yet inside you’re freaking out and not wanting to feel uneasiness or nerves and have a good time just like them.
Join The Club relays the struggle for self-identity in the face of societal expectation, whilst lighter moments like Sweet Release show the duo taking risks – showcasing Fleming on vocals for the first time.
The album as a whole is introspective, offering a closer look into being comfortable in one’s own skin and semi-blending in. It’s a perfect progression for any young adult that is going through the anguish of growing up. The growth that Hockey Dad have experienced over the past 18 months was evident in their music, it’s a theme that is picked up on straight away and what caught our attention and never let go.