Fancy Dad releases EP

When The Beatles came out with “Strawberry Fields” and “Penny Lane” a lot of fans (and critics) were befuddled that the new sound didn’t have the same harmonies as the with the more pop-sounding songs The Fab Four conquered. The idea that songs could have a dissonance to them, a layering of progressive brass, twinkling organs and even darker tones would unbeknownst at the time. For a band like Oakland, California’s Fancy Dad, the depth and the magnitude of their sound grows and grows with each note of the ‘oh-oh-oh’ or jazzy sax in the highly entertaining self-titled EP. Things also get funky.

The EP has four tracks and the common thread is slick percussion and enchanting (female) vocals. The drums are in more of the jazz arrangement genre, but the laying of sonic blanketing comes from funk, bluesy, indie rock and even a bit of bossa-nova.


Right out of the gate “Lucky 33” feels like the group is talking about a gig day and “putting on a show”. There’s a feeling of a zipper, fusing together the excitement of artistry and a new relationship fueling the fire. I loved the shuffled percussion and the lush melodies – especially when they sing “oh- oh-oh”. The bridge of the song has a different tone – and it felt almost more electrical compared to the organic feel before the bridge and after. I thought that was an interesting vibe.

Track two, “Meanwhile Yesterday” is also very evocative of picturing a day-in-the-life tale. The line that stood out was grabbing “a blanket on the green”. It made me think of a fun time and the backing music bed was just as jaunty and jazzy to match. So upbeat. So positive. The mood is set without being overbearing or a mish-mash of sounds that don’t quite fit.

In “Bee Line”, my favorite of the four, the feel of the song gave me a very 60s lounge vibe. I was almost dancing the cha-cha-cha while I listened and man, my hips and shoulders were a movin’! What a fun song and something about the female vocals is so charming and a great mesh with the backing sounds. She sounds very vintage, as does the music bed in this one, but overall, it fuses nicely with the jazz arrangements.

Finally, “Foam Carpet” is a great ending to a very delightful EP. Again, the vocals are consistently interesting and stay within the range; it’s comfortable range and I felt like the singer really shines with the brass sax, the little bits of synth thrown into the music stew. I loved the intricacies of the organ and synthesizer especially in “Foam Carpet” I also got a kick out of the line “is it rainbow and fairies and that make it all extraordinary”. No, I think it’s that delightful percussion that makes this song stick.

Fancy Dad is comprised of Jesse Boley, Katie Smart, Peter Sullivan, Justin Silva and Molly Smart. Fans of The Hot Sardines, Zero 7, Danger Mouse will dig Fancy Dad. Possibly even fans of Portishead will find something they like on the EP to add to their playlist.

Nicole Killian

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Nicole loves to go cross country skiing, swimming, reading and critiquing books, listening and critiquing music, some culinary arts, pottery, spending time with my daughter, cheesy horror films.

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