After a string of indie-pop-punk inspired releases going back over the past few years, Dad Patrol returns with, Sinful Ways, a new single that introduces a distinct shift in songwriting for the young ensemble.
It’s fun to watch a band grow, evolve, and try new things. In the age of immediate turnaround, bands can pump out new music as often as they like without being bound by traditional album-length formats. This immediacy can provide us, the listeners, with the opportunity to follow a group’s artistic progression in real time. In some situations, what happens in the practice room one day can be streaming into our devices just a few days later.
Of course, new ideas and sounds don’t happen overnight. There are a lot of contributing factors, including, among other things, the players involved. Since the beginning, Dad Patrol’s lineup of Gregor Dobson, Jonathan Marino and Zach Pelletier has been constant. Friends since the first grade, these three have grown up exploring music and trying new things together, occasionally switching instruments – Dobson started on guitar and vocals but has since dropped the axe, and Pelletier once handled bass duties before switching to guitar – while Marino has remained faithful to his drums throughout.
Over their long list of releases the group has on occasion welcomed additional players into the fold. For their latest single Sinful Ways, Dad Patrol’s lineup includes Luka Malatestinic on bass and Simon Boudreau of the group Cross Orchid playing guitar as well.
So there. Now that you’ve just read through a quick and hyper-condensed Dad Patrol primer, one that hopefully explains a bit as to why or how the group’s sound has shifted from release to release, let’s talk about Sinful Ways.
Probably not what anyone was expecting given the long string of indie-pop-punk inspired songs that form the group’s back catalogue, Sinful Ways is something altogether different. A slow layered introduction formed around a dissonant electric guitar riff with bass, drums and acoustic guitar (a first?) slowly contributing to the build. When the song kicks in, the groove is surprisingly less Chase the Light and a lot more Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic. A curveball? Yes. But as after spending a weekend together at a cabin in St. Martins writing and recording new material (including this song), Pelletier feels the development of Sinful Ways was as natural as anything they’ve ever done.
“This was one of those songs for us where once we started writing it, it just all came together at once,” said Pelletier. “We sort of just stumbled upon a riff we liked while Gregor and I were hanging out in his apartment and then within maybe half an hour we demoed out the entire song.”
A new lineup. A new sonic direction. What does it all mean? Who knows? Does it really matter? The answer here is, no. It doesn’t. What matters most is that Dobson, Marino, Pelletier and their co-conspirators are continuing to explore music on their own terms, at their own pace, no longer bound by one defining path. And that’s exciting.