Connan Mockasin and LA Priest/Late Of The Pier’s Sam Dust present Soft Hair as: “a view into an exotic world with a blend of familiar, unfamiliar and unconventionally attractive sounds”. This line, gracing the bottom of their Bandcamp page, is pretty hard to beat when it comes to summing up their debut eight track LP.
"Unconventionally attractive" was also the brief for their first music video. The riff of "Lying has to Stop" is partially built from a bizarre wobbling noise, which is brought to life visually via Mockasin's hands mimicking a purposefully awkward yet somehow sexual metronomic pattern, in a room covered in silver foil and throbbing with colours. It sets the scene well for an album that never tries to be too serious, but still ends up pretty good.
Worked on and recorded over the last five years while both halves did their own things (Mockasin released Caramel, Dust released his debut as LA PRIEST, Inji), they found time in various hotel apartments and studios around the world to let off steam and make something less pressing, yet still clearly important to each other in some sense, to be worth such a long gestation.
Hidden amongst the wobbles, lengthy off-piste guitar licks and shrill vocals, is some great riffs too. With just twenty seconds left on album opener (and fantastically titled track) "Relaxed Lizard", the mood splits, the distorted vocals are stripped off for Dust's regular tone, and for a few moments, it just sounds like straight-up synth-pop belter. Soft Hair continue this tension between pop and experimental noodling throughout the whole record, with both artists taking great satisfaction at torturing hooks ‘til there's only a thread left before bringing you back to where the song started. Sometimes you can lose yourself, in the twists and turns, but ultimately, this is unashamedly fun music from two of the most interesting musicians around, and being brought along for the ride is a worthwhile experience.