Sam Dust (LA Priest) and Connan Mockasin, the duo behind Soft Hair, originally crossed paths at a party in 2007 that culminated in them, err, fighting over the robbery of a fibreglass pig (no porkies here). Luckily, the duo managed to get over that beef (or ham) and join forces to form Soft Hair. The ridiculously extensive list of their self-titled debut’s recording locations reflects the pair’s chameleon music styles: a council house in St. Anne’s, a Nottingham factory, Paris, a Leicestershire bungalow and above a car repair garage in Wellington – it’s almost worthy of an accompanying travelogue.
The best thing about how damn wonky it is. More pedals than on a fleet of Boris bikes have clearly been used; from the flange and chorus pitch-shifted intro of ‘Jealous Lies’ to the 80s funk tones of ‘Lying Has To Stop’, guitar hooks throughout sound woozy and warped adding to the blissed-out vibes of the record. On top of that, it’s brimming with the kind of lift-music slash smooth-jazz atmosphere that’s a bit like vaporwave with the electronic undertones stripped. It’s hard not to swoon at the topsy-turvy synths of ‘In Love’ or the sunshine tones of ‘Relaxed Lizard’.
Somehow, it all manages to work together – for the most part. There is the odd point where it becomes just a tad self-indulgent. ‘A Goood Sign’ never really goes anywhere and gets a bit lost in its murky pool of synths, while ‘i.v.’ doesn’t add much to the record. But overall, the falsetto of Mockasin and the electronic sounds of Dust marry perfectly into something stunningly weird; the kind of marriage where’d you wear multi-colour suits and dresses and tuck into an inflatable cake.