By Kyle Arbiola
Those of you who are familiar with the name Connan Mockasin know what a peculiar being he is. For those who don’t, I’m here to enlighten you on this magnificent man who produces groovy music.
Connan Hosford, better known as his stage name Connan Mockasin, was born in Te Awanga, a village in New Zealand with a population of 300,000 inhabitants. Growing up, Hosford was in a couple of bands. His first band—The Four Skins, which he formed in 1995 while in middle school—has a very funny history behind it. His father had told him that there were four skins on the drums so he believed this for a while, only to be embarrassed for believing it later. Eight years went by until he joined another band, this one with a slightly less embarrassing but odd name: Grampa Moff. It would consist of his friends: Blake Pryor on bass, Christopher Chalmers on drums, and Connan on guitar. This would only be for a brief period of time because he would later go on to form Connan and the Mockasins. It wasn’t until 2008 that he would drop Connan and the Mockasins, and adopt his current stage name Connan Mockasin.
Connan Mockasin’s “Caramel” is an eleven track album full of strange lyrics and a guitar chords that almost sound like liquid flowing through your ears. His style of music can be categorized as psychedelic pop. The album was released in November 2013, by the record labels Mexican Summer and Phantasy Sound.
Mockasin was later asked what his writing process was and his response was, “It’s just ideas in my head that I put together, and later on it might make more sense. But I don’t think about the meaning at the time. Or I’m not aware of it.”
When asked what his inspiration was, he said that he wanted to create something that sounded like “caramel.” To be honest, he did a good job, because the album art, the music, and the music video for “I’m the Man That Will Find You” helped established that. He said in interviews that he lived in a hotel in Japan for a month to write the record. Who else would lock themselves inside a makeshift studio inside of a Japanese hotel other than Connan Mockasin? The reason he chose this method was that the feelings he felt during his time in a foreign country would inspire him to make music other than what others were making. My favorite tracks include,”I’m the Man That Will Find You”, “Do I Make You Feel Shy”, “Why Are You Crying”, and “It’s Your Body 1”. Pitchfork gave the album a 6.7 and it also gained a metacritic score of 70 receiving mostly favorable reviews.
This album really grew on me, because at first I found it to be weird and all over the place. Every time I listened to it I found myself enjoying more and more each time. Connan Mockasin’s music is definitely an acquired taste.