Icelandic musician Snævar Njáll Albertsson is the mastermind behind Dad Rocks!, the solo project of the singer who initially rose to prominence with the Danish band Mimas. Dad Rocks!, however, is quite different: the guitar here is mostly acoustic and is accompanied by piano, trumpets, violin, viola and much more. As Dad Rocks!, Albertsson is inspired by acts such as Bill Callahan, Owen, Why?, Akron/Family and Do Make Say Think. This has led to a sound that is a unique mix of folk and pop with complex guitar-work and anthem-like arrangements. However, Snævar Njáll Albertsson’s primary sources of inspiration are the relations closest to him. Most of all his little daughter who also inspired the name Dad Rocks!, naturally a pun on the ’dad rock’ genre. The use of pathos and irony is something that is explored throughout his work. Lyrically, this is also a central aspect with subjects both big and small.
Whilst the EP was recorded in a lo-fi setting on an analogue tape recorder, Albertsson had another vision for the forthcoming debut full-length, Mount Modern, and went for a different aesthetic that allowed the instruments to stand out clearer to bring out every single melody carried out on the many instruments played on the album. For this task he enlisted Icelandic super producer Addi 800 (Blur, Björk) to mix the album and Tom Mcfall (REM, Stars, Regina Spektor, Bloc Party) to do the mastering.
In 2011 Dad Rocks! has played at The Great Escape, SPOT Festival, Popkomm, Iceland Airwaves and CMJ in New York. Dad Rocks! has played over 50 gigs in 2011 alone in 10 different countries.
Mount Modern was released in the US (Paper Garden Records), UK (Big Scary Monsters Records), Denmark (Father Figure Records) and Iceland (Kimi Records) on November 8th. The single ‘Weapons’ includes a guest appearance by Charles Spearin of Broken Social Scene and Do Make Say Think, who plays cornet on the song. The album has been getting very positive reviews from the likes of Drowned In Sound (9/10), The 405 (9,5/10), Musical Mathematics (10/10), GoldFlakePaint (10/10), Big Cheese (5/5) and Rock Sound (7/10).
Drowned In Sound (9/10):
Mount Modern is one of the albums of the year without question - Albertsson's is a unique, gentle and much-needed authorial voice that humanises our often trend-fixated indie turf, and Dad Rocks! is a new band that feels like it should have always been here. This album positively glows with world-wise gentility, and I willingly join the fast-growing legion of Dad Rocks! devotees who can barely contain their excitement for what comes next.
The 405 (9,5/10):
There is a sense of real pride flowing throughout the entire album and you can tell how much he enjoyed making it, bringing in friends and heroes to add luscious layers to the sound. A liberating listen – when Snævar sings: “My band still rocks," it’s impossible to disagree.
Musical Mathematics (10/10):
Dad Rocks! has created a folk/pop masterpiece that already deserves the ‘classic’ status. Mount Modern is one of those albums that you will always come back to, one of those albums that resonates with you, and one which will stand the test of time
This album does what music is supposed to do for us: it reaffirms our creativity and humanity while still posing questions about the world around us that are so universal they transition seamlessly from Denmark, to Iceland, to the United Kingdom and to New York City, wielding the same power and magic in their wake.