Indie Isn't Dead… It's Dad!
You only need to look around to see the signs.
Credit: Dream Daddy trailer
Like a forlorn-looking piece of fluff lost to the depths of a sofa, indie music has silently passed through the past few years. As kids milly rocked their way to Snapchat fame and websites like Hipster Runoff succumbed to the ending of an era, the genre slowly slipped from vogue. Existing in silence rather than on the pages of a break-out novel by Tao Lin, it became relegated to a forgotten footnote in history – a memento of a time before time, some in-between, unreal place.
Bands came, and bands went. The guy from Sun Kil Moon publicly slammed The War on Drugs; the keyboardist left Vampire Weekend; The Smith Westerns became Whitney; MGMT released a third album – but nothing changed. It was as though indie music would never again operate with the smooth, deodorised appeal of "Homecoming". Then something happened: the word daddy.
For better or for worse, Daddy is exactly what indie music needed to return to its former sexed-up glory. Look around and you'll see the new-found dads of indie everywhere, chests booming, slinging their guitars around with mature ease. It's hard to say who started the trend, because growing old is a natural thing. That Brandon Flowers video where he wears a vest certainly plays a part though. So does this piece entitled "Thirteen Sufjan Stevens Outfits Ranked In Ascending Order Of How Badly I Want Him To Fist Me In Them". When you think about it, maybe Father John Misty is called Father John Misty because... well, yeah.
Of them all though, the greatest harbinger of indie being dad and not dead lives in a video game. Released today, Dream Daddy is "a Dad Dating Simulator". Essentially an app for creating virtual hunks, the app allows the player to date and dine with a gluttony of men (read: seven), all while probably doing shits on the toilet or apathetically waiting for the microwave to click itself off. And featuring on its soundtrack? One of the few graduates of the 2006 chillwave genre, Baths.
Try this gorgeous little baby on for size, you beautiful young man (or lady):
Caught you slipping there, huh? I feel you. The song is tucked into the tone of a genuine dream-like state and, in its innocent ask of "who is going to love you?", also does a good job of reminding you that you're alone and watching a trailer for a game where you replace non-existent dates with virtual men. Someone slap me in this game and sign me up right now for personal reasons.
And that's not all: look close and you'll see a whole host of indie-related puns (Godspeed You! Black Coffee; Iced Teagan and Sara) while the game also features an opportunity to hang out with the band Pup. Speaking to CBC News, co-creator Vernon Shaw says: "We have a Dad in the game who is the cool hipster dad, so one of your dates takes you to a concert venue named The Sound Garden," which goes some way to explaining how the game came to be couched in indie culture.
It may be simple, it may be hot, it may be be 18+ and include steamy situations and dialogue but to define Dream Daddy by these things is to do it a disservice. It is so much more. It is the future we were promised as "Kids", the logical next-step in a world where popularity of genres rotates in a decade-long cycle, the defining moment in indie returning to the musical battleground. Or maybe it's just a game. Just agree you've used the word "Daddy" in reference to an indie star and we'll agree this piece never happened, OK? Mmmm. Thank you, Daddy. You got it all right.
You can find Ryan Bassil on Twitter.