There has already been a lot of hype surrounding English and Kiwi artists, Sam Eastgate (better known as LA Priest) and Connan Mockasin’s first collaboration Soft Hair. Yet this has been long in the making, as their friendship stretches back to 2008 when Mockasin supported Eastgate’s old band Late of the Pier. A lot of the sounds and tracks stretch back to this time, when they would jam together in Eastgate’s old Nottingham residence. Both went on to forge successful solo careers, each known for their eccentric brand of psychedelic electro Indie pop respectively. Yet whilst LA Priest has gone down a mellower route, Mockasin has often pushed the boundaries a lot more.
With that considered, you could forgive many for being apprehensive about the album they would deliver. However, the duo immediately quashes all scepticisms. Redgate’s deeper and darker voice never feels out of place alongside Mockasin’s higher and at times eerie vocals (think Bee Gees crossed with Simply Red). There is a vast array of instrumental experimentation, which only rarely clashes. In the second track ‘Jealous Lies’, the duo switch between almost funk sounding synths, before dropping down into a haunting high pitched pipe sound, and switching back to a traditional electro backing. It sounds like the product of continuous playing around with different sounds and beats, which makes the album’s effortless flow even more impressive. This collaboration is not without its flaws though, and could be guilty of over stepping the ‘experimental’ mark. It is still slightly rough around the edges, but that is to be expected from such a challenging project.