Dad Rocks!, the more acoustic and folk-based solo project from Mimas frontman Snævar Njáll Albertsson, follows up his spectacular debut, the ‘Digital Age’ EP, with Mount Modern, the first long player under this moniker. Having utilised the internet for a stunning marketing campaign for this release – Snævar gave away free downloads on the Big Scary Monsters sampler, put up stunningly shot videos on Youtube and even invited his ever-growing fanbase to a Soundcloud listening party months ahead of release – it’s clear that there is so much anticipation for the record, and with good reason. Anyone who saw the live band’s shows and subsequent videos from this year’s The Great Escape can testify to that - deeply personal songs with a line in wit and lush, almost jazz-style arrangements. But how does this convert to record?

Familiar to some already, the opener ‘Mount Modern’ was released as a video to preview the album and it’s short and sweet mixture of film composition moments and harmonies bring to mind Snævar’s other band’s slower moments. There is a real heartfelt resonance to the piece, something that will last throughout the album’s eleven tracks. Another song that fans will already know, ‘Weapons’, opens the vocals on the release with the immediate statement of “There’s a cellphone tucked under your pillow” before bursting into life in joyous fashion, no doubt aided by the special guest appearance of Broken Social Scene member Charles Spearing. Snævar goes on to tell us how “Late at night when it’s drunk-dial time, I’ll tell you how I feel”. The instant nature of the lyrics is something that really strikes a chord, if they’re not making you stand to attention, you’ll be laughing. Often autobiographical, no more so on ‘Funemployment’ – a song that will resonate with anyone who’s had the misfortune to be out of work: “Let’s do a rhyme and call it funemployment”. Clocking in at just three minutes, the song talks through all the things you’ll consider when you’re unemployed – playing with the kids, starting a charity and even thinking of applying at Burger King. With the same line in self-depreciation as Jeffrey Lewis, the song has a more classical and hazy sense, no doubted aided by the beautiful strings.

After mentioning BK, it’s only fair that the next song, ‘Downaging’, references their main rival: “And I became a boy when I received my first Happy Meal toy”. The song contains stories from the incessant nature of touring while also discussing love life, or lack of: “I did my very best to get this girl undressed, but I sadly failed the test." The finger-picked guitars are also a constant throughout the album, while some of the more orchestral moments bring to mind a much more stripped-down ‘Let It Come Down’-era Spiritualized. There are many contemporary references littered throughout the album with Youtube, Disney and Twitter and the pain of being discouraged by text messages. The latter two both quite brilliantly mentioned in the narrative of ‘Battle Hymn Of The Fox Father’, the longest song on the album. This also contains the memorable statement (or is it a question?): “Call me a quitter." ‘Lifestock’ has a slight country twinge that makes it easy to bob along to before a minimalist feedback-led frenzy ends it in style. The interesting drum arrangements continue on ‘Farmscrapers’, where the subject is a farm designed by architects with good intentions. The visual nature of the lyrics on ‘Take Care’, a song covering modern society and how “They watch the military fly over” and how we sometimes deserve: “A slap in the face with all this human waste, that’s unavoidable in times of progress."

Immense credit has to go out to someone who has the cheek to finish an album with a song called ‘Pants’. It starts with acapella harmonies and then some of those handclaps that were used to such great effect on previous releases are thrown into the mix. Reminiscent of Stars, Snævar saves some of his funniest lines for this effort – a song that reinstates (as if the Dad Rocks! title didn’t enough) his joy at being a parent, even if some aspects of fatherhood are not the most pleasant. There is a sense of real pride flowing throughout the entire album and you can tell how much he enjoyed making it, bringing in friends and heroes to add luscious layers to the sound. A liberating listen – when Snævar sings: “My band still rocks," it’s impossible to disagree.