• Nick Crameri

The Dadsons Chase Down Their Own Zeitgeist on Sophomore LP, Four

Brad Dadson rarely answers a question regarding his music without the preface, “It’s weird…”. Whilst a self-ascribed descriptor for his dense and diverse psych-rock explorations as The Dadsons, it’s an idiosyncrasy that illustrates the burning curiosity surrounding musophilosophical oddities that necessitates his sound. Each new release throws compositional challenges and stylistic shifts that extend listener’s ears and his new LP, Four is no different. Under the soft red glow of the Nighthawks beer garden, we meditated over the details of his solo recording project’s latest outing.


Following the global-infused psych of his self-titled debut LP in 2019, Dadson has refused to settle into a singular sound. 2019’s, The Void EP offered up harder prog-rock whilst his 2020 release, Teenage Rage saw him craft a jazzy bedroom-pop ambience. However, Four appears to return to psychedelic inclinations, albeit unintentionally; “There’s this weird thing when you’re limited with what you can do and it ends up going in a particular direction sometimes outside of your own control”. Still dipping his toes into vast iterations of bossa nova, funk, synth-pop, garage and jazz, it’s foundation is one inherent to the artist; “I hadn’t even thought about it being psychedelic but maybe that’s just kind of me. Maybe I’m a bit psychedelic. It’s in my fingers and shit (laughs)”.



Following the global-infused psych of his self-titled debut LP in 2019, Dadson has refused to settle into a singular sound. 2019’s, The Void EP offered up harder prog-rock whilst his 2020 release, Teenage Rage saw him craft a jazzy bedroom-pop ambience. However, Four appears to return to psychedelic inclinations, albeit unintentionally; “There’s this weird thing when you’re limited with what you can do and it ends up going in a particular direction sometimes outside of your own control”. Still dipping his toes into vast iterations of bossa nova, funk, synth-pop, garage and jazz, it’s foundation is one inherent to the artist; “I hadn’t even thought about it being psychedelic but maybe that’s just kind of me. Maybe I’m a bit psychedelic. It’s in my fingers and shit (laughs)”.




Operating as a solo artist, The Dadsons acts as a recording project to be tinkered with and taken wherever his experimental senses select; “Jamming with other people and being in bands, there’s the compromise for each other. When I’m recording, it’s so compartmentalised and segmented and not done simultaneously. There’s nothing else recorded yet so I can play what I want. The whole purpose of recording for me is that I want someone to come up to me and ask what the fuck that noise was. To sound like I’ve cut shit up”. However, on moments like ‘Chiba City Blues’ and ‘In Your High Castle’, Dadson still embraces the artificial arrangement of “faking a band sound” as authentically as possible.


Underlying the need to challenge himself as well as the listener sits Dadson’s desire to be ahead of the zeitgeist; “I guess I’m selfish. I wanna be the person discovering a new sound or structure. It’s almost like hearing an album or seeing a movie for the first time. I wanna be the person telling people about it. Telling them I found it”. Utilising a bevy of synths in just as many ways, Dadson has been able to craft creative amalgams of often competing moods, like the tense tranquillity on the opener, ‘Theme Music’ or the intense bliss offered by ‘Must Be Something’. Rather than shy away from conjuring what some may hear as jarring emotional concoctions, he instead heads directly for them; “I wanna see if someone wants to turn it off, not because it’s a bad song, but because it makes them think something or feel something that they haven’t really felt anywhere else”.

Shunning the fee for a University degree in Production in favour of buying new gear, Dadson has curated his own education with mixing and continues to defy the DIY standard. Four reflects this stronger than ever with some of his grandest, pop-centric psych ballads to date via ‘Owl Caught In The Day’ and ‘A Very Rude Person Circles The Drain’. He ascribes much of the technical influence for these tracks to Perth’s forefather of psych; “I’ve always loved how Kevin Parker has always been doing weird shit, even as the band’s gotten bigger. His first few records really resonated with me because they were about being a loner and a weirdo. The more he’s gotten bigger the less his music has resonated with my status in the world, but he’s nailed this stoned sound. The beats are sittin’ back, everything’s a little bit off. Hearing that and how to layer a million synths and guitars on top of everything has played a big part”.


With Four, Brad Dadson has managed to make something intricately complex sound effortless with escapism. A DIY guru who analyses his own work in granular detail, he’s finally able to appreciate his art in a more mellow light, having endeared himself to his soft-spoken eccentricity; “I think I’m more comfortable with showing people the actual product now. I see a comfort in feeling like my music has gotten weirder and more bizarre. When I’m making things now, I’m able to lose my inhibitions and listen back to it and like it”. This sense of satisfaction also comes from the knowledge attained from DJ dissections; “I’m really deep into Questlove. He’ll play a hip-hop song from the 90s and he’ll play a sample form it, a cover of that sample, all in a row. That’s where I’m at. If I hear something I’ll wanna know who did it, who played what, where did it come from”. As evidenced by a rich discography now with a cherry adorning its top, The Dadsons is special for this level of idiosyncratic intellect; “Music is not just a thing that comforts me, it’s something that I need to know about”.


The Dadsons latest record, Four is available now on all streaming services!

LP cover art by dr.jay.chung / Jay Chung on Instagram

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