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Hockey Dad

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An Australian duo whose music is an upbeat blend of garage rock and indie rock, Hockey Dad is the sound of two friends having a smart, unpretentious good time when they're not busy surfing or skating.
Hockey Dad's songs are well-crafted pop tunes that evoke youthful fun in the sun, with enough guitar to give them a strong rock & roll backbone and harmonies that reinforce their upbeat personality. Their 2016 debut album, Boronia, captured the bright, youthful sound that sparked their initial success, while 2020's Brain Candy saw them reaching for a more mature and layered approach.
Hockey Dad was founded in 2013 in Windang, a coastal suburb in New South Wales, Australia. The group was formed by guitarist and lead vocalist Zach Stephenson and Billy Fleming on drums and harmony vocals; both double on other instruments and have experience in recording and production. Stephenson and Fleming were respectively five and four years old when they first met; they lived just two doors down from each other and met at a neighborhood football game. The friends devoted most of their time to sports, surfing, and skating until Stephenson got a guitar and Fleming started accompanying him on an old drum kit belonging to Stephenson's father. As they became more accomplished, they joined a band called Abstract Classic, but when they broke up, the friends decided to start their own group.
Taking their name from an obscure Simpsons reference, Hockey Dad started out opening for local bands before they moved on to headlining clubs in the area and taking part in Triple J Radio's annual Unearthed talent competition, making it into the finals. They released their first song, "Lull City," in 2013, and it also appeared on a three-song EP, Dreamin', that they put out in June 2014. After touring with Bass Drum of Death, DZ Deathrays, and the Jungle Giants, Hockey Dad set out on their first road trip as a headliner, and in August 2016, they released their first album, Boronia, on the independent Farmer and the Owl label. The album fared well, rising to number 55 on the Australian album charts, and following a sold-out Australian tour, they made their way to North America for a string of dates after Boronia was issued stateside by Kanine Records. The second album, 2018's Blend Inn, was an even bigger success, peaking on the Australian charts at number six and establishing them as bone fide indie stars at home. After extensive touring, the duo returned to the studio, and their third album, the more ambitious and polished Brain Candy, was issued in August 2020. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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