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Hot Dad embraces the void

It’s 2019, and no one is more logged-on than Hot Dad. In the wasteland of Youtubers making music hides an odd gem. Dancing in front of a green screen in poorly fitting outfits and making jams is Erik, aka Hot Dad. His (growing) channel currently has about 100,000 subscribers. However, few of his songs have gone viral. But Hot Dad is a genuinely talented, funny and endearing artist that deserves more attention.

Hot Dad seemingly originated out of the stream-trolling business model. Following the footsteps of Matt Farley and Motern Records, he released a record with 101 tracks that only averaged about a minute and a half in length. But instead of following Motern’s logic of there being a market of people who want a birthday song corresponding to their birthday or name, Hot Dad made an album of faux-theme songs for TV shows, most of which already have opening themes. This trait, making songs with no real concern for being relatable or having an audience, is what Hot Dad would end up doubling down on.

His more recent work consists of a mix of dad rock and synthpop. His best work doesn’t hold up as just good for a joke song but as sound, well-crafted instrumentals. Additionally, he has a complementary talent for crafting catchy choruses. He is also an expert in intentional grammar mistakes, dropping quotes like “maybe we can go to the Moon or maybe the Mars” and “I’m having f*ck with hundreds of girls.” His biggest hits to date are memetic songs dealing with topics like Guy Fieri, vaporwave covers of songs like “Mambo No. 5” or constructing a song out of a Facebook page like “I Really, Really Like this Image.”

He’s also become a master of the absurdist love song for the digital age. Picture the vibe of Childish Gambino’s “Because the Internet” but without the “nice guy” angst. “If U Reply” revises the trope of hanging on someone’s every word substituting in online engagements (notifications, shares, likes and the like). “And if you share my post, I’ll keep it in my home. I’ll print it out and I’ll frame it.” As ridiculous as he sounds, he seems genuine and the song is almost touching. One of his more recent singles, “The Game Zone,” sees him on the sultrier side of things. The song is coated with gaming references as innuendos that make it seem like Hot Dad wants to have sex with his PlayStation. But the song is more bizarre than it is corny or tongue in cheek because half the references, like “I’ll use my tongue on your touchscreen” and “your frame-rate getting wetter,” don’t even hold up. He’s so engrossed in the online community that he can strike this balance of making that world seem awesome and ridiculous simultaneously (see “I Love Websites”).

When not navigating web culture, Hot Dad is committed to making songs with the most arbitrary premises. The title of “Just Tell Me What Font to Pick (When I’m Making Websites for Kids)” should speak for itself (he ultimately picks Times New Roman if you’re curious). As should “I Don’t Have a Sense of Smell” which features the brilliant chorus “when the darkness comes, I’m not gonna smell the light” and a verse where he just reads facts he googled about the affliction. No other artist would pen a whole song about trying to convince others that he loves “The Star Wars.”  No one else would ask us if we “remember the pivotal scene in The Star Wars when Character C did that.”

Hot Dad is dedicated to being himself and deserves a larger spotlight for it. In a market characterized by talentless twenty-somethings shamelessly capitalizing on trends, there is nothing more refreshing than an actual dad being uncompromisingly weird. “I Love Never Changing My Clothes” is the anti-“It’s Everyday Bro.” The proof is out there; the world needs Hot Dad.

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