For anyone who doesn’t know what “cool-dad music” is, let me educate you.
It’s quite simple. Consider these very-relatable scenarios:
Scenario one: You’re young, maybe 12-13 years old. Your ears are fresh. The music you like probably isn’t very good, but to you, it’s what makes you unique. It’s your style. You’re trying to convince yourself that you’re cool, so you try to convince others that your music is cool. We’ve all been there. Some of us are still there (me).
Scenario number two: You’re still young. Still 12-13 years old. You have parents. You probably aren’t a huge fan of those parents (at least in a teen-rebellion kind of way – so, a not-real kind of way). Even though they are your life source, their style is… I mean, c’mon. Their style? May God have mercy on their sweet, style-less souls.
Put these two scenarios together, and you’re bound to hate your parents’ music. Again, we’ve all been there.
But let’s be frank. When you’re 12, you’re stupid. Even worse, you’re too stupid to even know that you’re stupid. That idea applies to style, too. When you’re 12, you don’t think your dad’s music is cool, but you don’t understand the fact that you don’t understand why he thinks it’s cool.
Then, things start to change. One day you think, “Hmm, this song is pretty amazing, actually.” Then you listen to the rest of the album… Oh boy. More amazing. More albums, still amazing. By the time you get to the White Album, you finally realize how stupid you are. It’s human evolution.
In short, cool-dad music is the music that you don’t realize is cool until you’re old enough to understand your dad as a person. It’s music that requires a lot of simmering. It’s music that requires time, dedication, and growth. It builds like a relationship, because it is a relationship.
That being said, this has been, and will continue to be a year of fruitful relationships for someone like me. 2017 has resurrected a few cool-dad bands, and made sure that others are still going strong. This is the music I love, and these bands are still amazing.
Here are the top cool-dad albums to check out from 2017:
The Feelies – In Between
The Feelies disbanded in 1991 after four albums. In 2011, they came back with Here Before, which turned out to be one of their better records. In Between is not far behind, if at all. The Feelies are still going strong.
The Jesus and Mary Chain – Damage and Joy
Psychocandy is beyond a classic for me, and oh, sweet noise, how I’ve missed you… Damage and Joy is the Jesus and Mary Chain’s first album since ’98. Even though they’ve lost a touch of noise over the years, they are still blaring. This is a great record. Really. They’ve relaxed with age, but the Reid brothers still have a bit of an “eff-you” attitude. I mean that in a good way, of course.
Guided By Voices – August By Cake
The easy one-word description of Robert Pollard: prolific. To think that someone could release 100 studio albums and have anything left in the tank is purely astounding. There are 32 songs on this album – clearly there is no shortage of music in GBV-land.
Later This Year…
Luna – A Sentimental Education (LP) & A Place of Greater Safety (EP)
In the fall, Luna is coming packed with a doubleheader. A Sentimental Education is their upcoming LP; an album of all covers, and A Place of Greater Safety, an EP of all instrumental tunes. Time will tell what it brings, but I can’t wait.
In the end, it’s mostly just fun to see these bands still ripping and writing great music. The longer they last, the more I’ll have in common with my children.
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