Ottawa-based trio dad sports latest EP provided me with such a refreshing experience. Listening to I AM JUST A BOY LEAVE ME ALONE!!!, and its jangly pop tunes made me nostalgic for times long gone. This EP captures the kind of ups and downs in young adult life that can make you either anxious or excited, but are all wonderful memories either way. 

Dad sports just has that youthful spirit to it, it’s like watching a coming-of-age film or reminiscing with an old friend about the good old times. With its jangly guitars and bouncy drum  machines, the trio sings about fleeting moments like casually asking someone out or getting through a tough falling out with a friend. And they make it come out as sincere while still being enjoyable. The lo fi bedroom pop scene has been putting out music with heartfelt authenticity to it, and this one follows that trend – there’s no grand ideas or groundbreaking through line here – but what’s there is a comfy atmosphere that you can snuggle up with while sipping your favorite hot drink.

I find little bits of anxiety and tenderness in each of these songs. Opening cut “out 4 a breather” feels like it came straight out of a meet-cute scene with the line “do you know my name / I think you kinda cool”. Frontman Miguel Plante’s delivery has that subtle awkward/apprehensive tone to it, reminding me of characters like Napoleon Dynamite or anyone played by Michael Cera. This will-they won’t-they feeling appears again in “if u want to!”, with faded vocals and hazy synths that mimic the uncertainty and anticipation that comes with expressing your affection to someone. 

Elsewhere, in “gf haircut”, the atmosphere becomes a bit cloudy. What starts off as a remark about hair later reveals itself as a scene for a potential breakup: “don’t you think the weather is kinda off lately? / I really hope that I’m not driving you crazy.” Where other bedroom pop contemporaries may choose to lay the message bare, dad sports uses their witty lyricism to add a few layers in. Resulting in these songs having enough depth despite being short and sweet. This can be seen in other highlights like “nrvs again”, which talks about the tension that plagues every creative artist and in the bold “MANY FACES”, which talks about a rift with someone over their questionable honesty.

Jangly indie pop with tons of fun and endearing moments. I AM JUST A BOY LEAVE ME ALONE !!!, might be written in all caps, but dad sports’ new EP was crafted with plenty of heart and finesse.

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