Today Hockey Dad share their new single and video for Still Have Room, the first taste of their fourth album, due in 2024.
Here’s the blurb with more:
October 1, 2023: Hockey Dad is the musical project of Zach Stephenson and Billy Fleming, two childhood friends from Windang, New South Wales, Australia. Over the last decade Hockey Dad have become masters of crafting singalong choruses backed by jangly distortion and ripping drums.
In the coming weeks Hockey Dad will return to Aotearoa, performing in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) and Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington) with support from The Belair Lip Bombs (AUS). Tickets are available now from moshtix.
From groms to grey bellys, the hook-laden indie rock of Still Have Room is sure to be stuck in your head for days. The track is the duo’s first new music in over a year, and was produced, engineered & mixed by Alex Burnett (Thelma Plum, Flight Facilities, Sparkadia), Oli Horton and Tim McArtney before being mastered by George Georgiadis (Matt Corby, Jack River, Babe Rainbow).
“I think initially it seems like a song from someone who can’t move on from a romantic relationship, after a while I noticed becoming more about past friends who drift into different lives,” says Hockey Dad’s guitarist/vocalist Zach Stephenson.
“[Still Have Room] is about moving forward in your life and moving on through different phases, but still having that connection and special place in your heart for people you grow apart from. Acknowledging their impact on your life for good or bad and keeping those memories and lessons with you onward.”
Still Have Room is accompanied by a music video, shot locally around the steelworks Wollongong. Directed by Jamieson Kerr (who has work with G Flip, Ocean Alley and Skegss) the clip is inspired by classic heist movies.
“We play down on their luck artists who are in a fight to save their creations from an eccentric art thief,” says Stephenson. “It was great to work with Jamieson as he really brought our initial ideas into a whole new dimension and worked super hard running the shoot. We can’t wait to go deeper into the story and see how everything plays out later down the line.”
What began as something to do while there was no surf has become so much more for Zach Stephenson and Billy Fleming aka Hockey Dad. In 2013 the two who had been friends since early childhood started jamming in their parent’s garage because there were no waves. With Zach on guitar/ vocals and Billy behind the drum kit the two quickly progressed to writing their own songs and had a set together to start playing some shows locally across Wollongong.
Early 2014 saw the duo take the next step of recording the tracks. They enlisted Tom Iansek on production duties and headed down to Melbourne to record five tracks that would become their debut EP ‘Dreamin’. Released in June of 2014, it instantly clicked with music fans both across Australia and internationally, with the release gaining the band a cult following. With that the band then hit the Australian live circuit hard through the back half of 2014 and into 2015 while also writing plenty of new music.
Between shows during the 2015 they managed to once again hit the studio to record their debut album and were also invited to the USA for the first time to play CMJ festival in New York. The first US tour would prove pivotal in the bands international plans with agency and label representation in North America coming from their showcases and the event and as a result they would return to the US in March 2016 to play SXSW.
August of 2016 saw the band release their debut album ‘Boronia’, named after the street the duo grew up on, the band were now taking their sounds well beyond that humble little street in Windang. On release day the band kicked off a coast-to-coast North American headline tour before heading across to do album release shows in the UK, Netherlands and France. Following their international touring schedule Hockey Dad returned home for the Australian leg of the ‘Boronia’ tour with shows selling out almost immediately on the back of strong radio and media support.
Following the touring cycle for the debut album, they hit the festival circuit in Australia playing main stages on most of the countries favourite festivals before it was time to begin work on their sophomore album. This time they took a totally different approach to recording by heading to Seattle to record with producer John Goodmanson.
Released in February of 2018, the second Hockey Dad album propelled the band further in both their home country and abroad. In Australia the album was a Triple J feature album, debuted in the top ten of the album charts and eventually was shortlisted for Australian album of the year, in the US it topped college radio charts and in the UK/Europe it gained positive press across the board. It was backed up with headline touring across the USA, Canada, UK, Europe and Australia, selling out iconic rooms in London, New York, Amsterdam and plenty more. Once again the band followed up the album cycle by hitting the festival circuit both in Australia and across the UK and Europe.
After working so well with John Goodmanson for the recording of ‘Blend Inn’, Hockey Dad returned to Seattle in mid 2019 to begin work on their third album ‘Brain Candy’. The first single from the release ‘I Missed Out’ dropped in late 2019 and despite only having a few weeks of eligibility entered Triple J’s famous Hottest 100 countdown (the third straight year they’d made an appearance). Originally scheduled for a May release, Hockey Dad’s third album ‘Brain Candy’ was a victim of the pandemic and held back until late July release. With most of the world in the grip of lockdowns, some alternate ideas to touring in support of the release had to take place, so the band played a release-week livestream that was globally supported by Youtube, as well as a hometown Drive-In Show. It helped the album debut at number two on the Australian charts. The 2020 Drive-In show had been professionally recorded and in October 2021 was released as a limited edition vinyl. Their loyal fanbase has also kept rolling with the band with their single ‘Seaweed’ hitting platinum status in Australia, while the singles ‘Join The Club’ and ‘I Need A Woman’ have gone gold.
2023 has seen the band tour around the world numerous times, including shows across the UK and Europe, a sold out Australian co-headline tour with mates Ruby Fields, a US headline run, and now an Australian Regional tour and dates in NZ. In amongst touring, Hockey Dad managed to find time to write and work on their fourth album, with the first taste being offered up in the form of their new single ‘Still Have Room‘.