Seven years ago Connan Mockasin and Sam Dust teamed up to create an album. Now it’s finally seeing the light of day.
“I feel proud and excited for people to hear this record,” starts Connan Mockasin, psych-pop experimenter and one half of Soft Hair on a project that has taken him and cohort Sam Dust almost a decade to unleash. “Even though it’s seven years old, I don’t feel embarrassed and shamed, which is a good sign.”
These two minds have been collaborating and melding since first meeting in 2009, when Connan supported Sam’s previous band Late of The Pier on tour and the result is an exotic mixture of bastardised pop. “Hardly anybody has heard it so it feels a lot like releasing something we've only just made,” says Sam. ‘Soft Hair’ is a project that utilises what both he and Connan do best: compose music that is neither new nor old. It’s a fresh representation of whatever comes into their heads, and ultimately, how it comes out, nobody really knows. “You never know what kind of thing might be the next pop music, but you would hope it's not going to be the same as the previous or current pop music, and if you carry on with that train of thought it can lead you anywhere musically.”
The relationship between the two is one that started with tension in 2007, after a fight between the pair’s respective bands at a music industry event, and it took two years to begin this formation. While the release of ‘Soft Hair’ has been a long time coming, there’s no real sense that this is a permanent fixture of each other’s life, as Connan admits: “We hadn’t changed anything or talked in many years except group emails with out record label when discussing the release.” Sam continues: “We've left it as it was, since it was finished a few years ago. We might have changed only a little, but not the record”.
This doesn’t mean it was a forced partnership, quite the opposite in fact. “With Soft Hair I could record or write a more loose idea of something,” says Sam, “and know that if it wasn't good enough, Connan could play or write something better. If it was good then it'd have a more natural feel to it because of there not being any pressure.
“It would be like, I had a blurry idea of the song in my head from something that one of us had come up with, then you could imagine it on the record but you can sort of hear all the parts. Then I think we'd both go off and one would go for a walk outside and the other would be sitting in a chair with a guitar for example, and just work it out bit by bit until we had something to play the other person. Do that a few times and then start recording it.”
“I remember feeling bursts of excitement and eureka moments,” adds Connan.
Neither has any idea if there is a future for Soft Hair, with the busy duo undertaking various filming projects, and Connan having an exhibition in Tokyo in 2017 too - but together they form a sound that’s both not been heard before, and likely never will be again.
Taken from the October issue of Dork, out now - order your copy here. Soft Hair’s self-titled album is out now.
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