Fourteen years after the last offering from Thee More Shallows, front man, Dee Kesler releases a new album this week. Entitled Dad Jams, the album looks at the worlds of music and fatherhood colliding and how much life changes as a result. Dee says that “so when I finally found time to eke out another collection of songs – in the thick of my ‘dad’ years – I asked Brian, Jason, and Tadas if I could use our old band name. They graciously said yes. Jason flew out and was able to contribute wonderful drums, Cosmos Lee visited and played violin – and as usual I did my level best to describe how I felt.”
Dad Jams is a retrospective look at life and the personal and creative choices that shape the path. Musically, the indie/rock sounds mingle with the experimental and pop to make an album with immense danceability. Not to mention the bouncy, catchy hooks that leap out from each track. First off is ‘Ancient Baby‘, floaty, indie psychedelia tinged pop anthem that screams summer from each bar. It feels like a happy update of nostalgia for late 1990’s / 2000’s vibes and sets the scene for the rest.
‘Boogie Woogie’ builds around a restrained synth groove that surprises and delights with its harmonies, along with ‘Copy Body‘. ‘Hey, Come On!’ is a toe tapping belter underscored by a distant drum machine accompanying a more pared back feel, an approach touched on throughout, culminating in the acoustic finale, ‘Wizard Wednesdays‘.
Dee’s advice to aspiring musicians is:
“Don’t judge your music while you make it, or even before you release it. Feel it, arrange it, perform it, and then let someone else judge it. As your own editor, sure you may prevent yourself from releasing an embarrassing song, but you’ll also prevent yourself from making your best song. Every Prince album has a few transformational tracks, and few grade-A stinkers. Give yourself the freedom to create both.”
Dad Jams is released on 28 May on Monotreme Records. Get your copy here.
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