The sun seems to always shine for the band Fancy Dad. It’s not just the urge to dance that makes you like them, it’s their eccentric blends that get you hooked. Feeling like you’re on the bright side of things, Fancy Dad spins the listener in several directions four times fast, rightfully so.
Fancy Dad are a rare breed of musicians that cartwheel their vintage (as in 60s) instruments parallel to modern synthesizers and jazzy drums. Hailing from Oakland, California, and sounding like aural neon, Fancy Dad dabs mostly in jazz and funk, but fans of pop rock will get their kicks going with songs like “Lucky 33” and “Bee Line.” The party doesn’t stop with “Meanwhile Yesterday” or “Foam Carpet”. Making up the band are Jesse Boley, Katie Smart, Peter Sullivan, Justin Silva and Molly Smart.
“Lucky 33” is bursting with organ keys and percussion. The female voice is sultry but not too seductive. She sings “it’s just you and me, lucky number 33…you look for exits down the road and you got to make your own glow”. After a few gulps of this tall drink of water, the interpretation is that while relationships come-and-go, the band and music, well, “it’s just you and me”. The line “look for exits down the road” calls to mind the lines the cattle call of musicians that have called it quits after years of trying to make it big. It also could mean that the partner of the musician just couldn’t hack it, they couldn’t take the stress of being on the road with the musician. The keys are a bit fussy, but collectively working nicely with the vocals and textured bass rhythm and jazz percussion.
“Bee Line” happens to be track three, but in this case, it’s my second favorite tune after “Lucky 33”. Underneath the angelic “ba-ba-ba-ba” are woodsy clicks and murmured brass. The percussion shapes are sharp, with bright features. The catchy chorus “oney bee, follow me to the trees, your honey’s meant for me” sticks. As the vocals sway along like something from yesteryear, the brass tones and rhythms’ swell.
The breezy “Meanwhile Yesterday” displays more jazz and funk arrangements. It’s a bit more subdued this outing. Lyrically, the line “another state, another state-of-mind, I wander through…” had me dreaming of my own past and rearranging my mind’s puzzle pieces. Fancy Dad incorporate a definite rearrangements of sounds and sometimes even mood after the bridge – including in “Meanwhile Yesterday” and that added texturing is peculiar but they make it work in their favor.
Things keep following along in the organ and click-clack mashup in “Foam Carpet”. The drum work is outstanding and I actually felt like the music bed sounded more like a ‘beeline” than the song “Bee Line” did. Go figure. I loved the speed, the swift tempo. You can almost hear and feel the drumstick hitting the drum head. It’s a bit of a long song, and I wanted a bit more of the brass, but towards the end, the harmonizing with the vocals and organ is pretty wicked. Roll the windows down and let this one slide you get you going.
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