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'Dadcore', Mixtapes and More: Meet Mozes and the Firstborn

Tuesday, 15 January 2019 Written by Huw Baines

Photo: Nick Helderman

It all started with clothes. Specifically, it all started with Melle Dielesen’s clothes.

Mid-conversation, his bandmates in Mozes and the Firstborn settled on the trend they felt best encapsulated his sense of style: dadcore. “We kinda started thinking that was also a pretty good way to describe the music we're making,” Dielesen, who sings and plays guitar in the Eindhoven band, laughs along the line. “We thought we could make a love letter to the most dadcore genre right now: rock music.”

True to their word, ‘Dadcore’ is an album that explores sun-bleached psych-rock, classic Weezer-style fuzz, harmonica-flecked dude jams and devilishly catchy power-pop with the emphasis on having a good time along the way. It’s out on January 25 through Burger Records, with a London show at the Shacklewell Arms set to follow, and a musty history lesson it is not.

Mozes and the Firstborn prefer to view ‘Dadcore’ as a mixtape—a collection of moments that illustrate their point rather than an exhaustive thesis—and its best moves share a loose, slightly nerdy gait with the cream of ‘90s alt-rock. Within its pages you might find a song for the last day of school, a sunny soundtrack for a long drive, or a riotous, lovelorn melodic outpouring.

During the writing and recording process drummer Raven Aartsen, who produced alongside Chris Coady, kept hold of the compass to ensure the band were heading in the right direction. One of his many jobs was to rein things in when required—mixtapes might be scattershot by nature, but they should also hang together as a piece. Veering off into an esoteric wonderland might have been a very prog-rock thing to do, but it would also have sold short the sharp, concise writing elsewhere.

“If you have about six songs that are different you start thinking, 'OK, how are we gonna make this into a whole?' Raven kept a close eye on that,” Dielesen says. “With our first album we had the same thing a little bit. We're quite eclectic and also when I write demos the work is quite eclectic. 

“It's a process of zooming in and zooming out. When we're working on one song, usually it's because we love the idea that it sprang from. I guess for this record, all in all, I wrote like 80 demos. Those are 80 little worlds that we have zoomed in on, some more than others. Within the course of a year and a half this process started happening and towards the end you write a song and go ‘OK, that's cool, but it's not going to fit the record’ or ‘Yo, that’s exactly what we needed to finish the album’.”

Along with Coady, who has previously worked with artists including Beach House, Yuck and together PANGEA, who feature on the title track, Mozes and the Firstborn enlisted a host of outside mixers to put their spin on the songs, which was a fresh addition to the process that led to their self-titled bow and its 2016 follow up ‘Great Pile of Nothing’.

Lending a helping hand were Rob Barbato, Roland Cosio, Andrew Schubert and Eric Carlson, who between them have CVs featuring records with Kevin Morby, the Fall, Peach Kelli Pop and Mean Jeans, with labelmate Kelsey Reckling also popping up as a guest on a song called Scotch Tape/Stick With Me. As a result, ‘Dadcore’ is a kaleidoscopic, richly textured album that benefits from this collaborative spirit. After all, rock music means different things to different people.

“Probably the coolest thing about this record is that there was a lot of people involved,” Dielesen says. “I guess for us as a band that was also an eye-opener to see how bringing different people in on this project brought something very cool. You have all these little details that would have not been in there if we were working as just the four of us, or with just one other mixer or producer. It formed the record.” 

From concept through to the final product, ‘Dadcore’ isn’t attempting to reinvent the wheel. It’s a celebration of the songs that made you fall in love with rock music in the first place; an anachronism that might help to blow away the layer of dust that has settled on a favourite record from when you were young.

'Dadcore' is out on January 25 through Burger Records.

Mozes and the Firstborn Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue March 12 2019 - LONDON Shacklewell Arms

Click here to compare & buy Mozes And The Firstborn Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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