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|Birth name||Connan Tant Hosford|
|Born||1982/1983 (age 38–39)|
|Origin||Te Awanga, New Zealand|
Connan Tant Hosford, better known by the stage name Connan Mockasin, is a New Zealand musician, composer and record producer born in Te Awanga, New Zealand. Hosford has lived in London, Lewes, Manchester, Los Angeles and Tokyo.
Born and raised in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, Hosford started his first band "The Four Skins" (named by his father, Ade "because there are four skins on the drums") while attending Havelock North intermediate school in 1995. Soon after this, due to embarrassment, Connan called an end to The Four Skins, and didn't start another band until several years later.
In 2003, after moving to Wellington, Hosford briefly played in a band called "The Hornery Stiffmen" (later to become a track title on "Please Turn Me Into The Snat"), consisting of Blake Pryor (bass) (who later appeared as an actor in "Bostyn 'n Dobsyn") and Christopher Chalmers (drums), before forming his principal New Zealand group "Connan And The Mockasins", named after Connan's interest in making his own shoes. Playing alongside Connan were Ross Walker (upright acoustic bass) and Seamus Ebbs (drums). It was with this band that Connan relocated to London in May 2006 after releasing their second EP "Uuu It's Teasy".
Forever Dolphin Love (2010–2012)
The first release to bear the name "Connan Mockasin" was the 2010 LP, "Please Turn Me Into The Snat", which was re-released as "Forever Dolphin Love" the following year. This album saw a significant change in style to Connan's previous work, and has been described by critics as "fluid", "meandering and blissful", "seemingly effortless" and "mesmerising". In a conversation about why he made the album, Mockasin said "It was never meant to be released...It was just me being silly, really, and Mum forced me to do it." Recording took place in his home in Te Awanga. The re-released 2CD version included a live recording entitled "Forever Dolphin Live", recorded in an apartment in London.
It was at this stage Hosford put together an incarnation of the existing Connan Mockasin live band: Matthew Eccles (drums), Nicholas Harsant (bass), Sam Dust (keyboards) and Rory McCarthy (percussion).
Mockasin announced the release of his second album, Caramel in September 2013. It was released the following November. Connan commented, "I wanted to make something simple. Something nice and relaxed. I liked the name, and the album just came up around that. It's what I felt like 'caramel' music would be." The album was recorded in a hotel room in Tokyo: "I know a few people in Japan. We'd have little sleepovers, a bit of fun, a few drinks and stuff. I liked the atmosphere. It was just a hotel room, two beds. It was nice." Critics have said it is an album which "demands patience", and one which leaves you feeling as though "time is being stretched". It featured singles "I'm The Man That Will Find You" and "Do I Make You Feel Shy?".
Jassbusters / Bostyn 'n Dobsyn (2018)
On August 15 2018, new music and tour dates appeared on Connan Mockasin's social media web-pages. "Con Conn Was Impatient" would mark the first release from upcoming album Jassbusters. September 19th saw the release of "Charlotte's Thong" (also taken from Jassbusters) whose namesake is rumoured to be Mockasin-collaborator Charlotte Gainsbourg. Jassbusters was recorded in one week at Studio Ferber, Paris in August 2016, and was the first Connan Mockasin album to feature Mockasin's touring band (Nicholas Harsant, Matthew Eccles, Rory McCarthy).
Jassbusters will accompany a five-part film written and directed by Connan called "Bostyn 'n Dobsyn", which took an alleged 20 years to develop, and reached its current form after a 10-day shoot in Los Angeles in July 2016. The film tells the story of Mr. Bostyn (Connan Tant Hosford), and his student J. Dobsyn (Blake Pryor), and features Connan and band playing as a band of music teachers. The first episode "Belly Bubble" was premiered at the Vista Theatre, Los Angeles before a concert by Jassbusters, followed by a Connan Mockasin performance.
After hinting at such a collaboration since 2010, Mockasin's album with Sam Dust (Sam Eastgate of Late Of The Pier) "Soft Hair" surfaced in October 2016. The album was made principally in Loughborough, during a period of time when Hosford believed he had contracted H.I.V. When asked why it took so long to release, Connan replied simply, "We had a falling out".
In 2015, Mockasin and British artist Devonté Hynes released the extended play Myths 001: Collaborative Recordings Captured in Marfa, TX March 9–16, 2015 through Mexican Summer, as part of their "Marfa Myths" series.
After having toured the United States extensively with Australian support act Kirin J. Callinan, Mockasin appeared on his November 2015 release "The Teacher", released on Parisian record label Record Makers.
Connan briefly curated concerts under the title "Mockasin's Wet Dream", the first of which took place in London's Moth Club, in collaboration with Charnwood based online music-library Tasty Morsels. The night featured performances by James Blake (who had recently announced Mockasin's involvement on his album 'The Colour In Anything'), Mockasin's father, Ade, Liam Finn and Infinite Bisous (Rory McCarthy of the Connan Mockasin touring band). The second Wet Dream would take place at Texan festival Marfa Myths, organised by American label Mexican Summer, and would include appearances by Ariel Pink and Andrew Van Wyngarden.
Rejoining BARB bandmates James Milne and Liam Finn, Connan has occasionally played concerts in New Zealand under "Mockasin Arabia Finn". During a concert at Auckland's Crystal Palace, Connan performed a rendition of the Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac song, "I Need Your Love So Bad", with Mick Fleetwood.
Connan contributed to James Blake's third album, 'The Colour in Anything', playing bass on "Noise Above Our Heads", James has cited Connan as an inspiration, adding "Me actually dancing or moving around onstage, nobody should ever see. But having him around always makes me feel like I could do anything." Connan joined James on stage periodically throughout a tour promoting his new record, singing harmonies. James later featured on "Momo's" from Mockasin's 2018 album Jassbusters.
Since around 2005, while with 'Connan and the Mockasins', Hosford has played his reshaped Fender Stratocaster, a sky blue 90s Mexican-made model which he hand-sawed (as he would later re-enact with a new Stratocaster on stage in New York at the National Sawdust). Along with his second reshaped Stratocaster, Connan has also recently been playing a black Silvertone 1448., as seen in the video for Connan's version of the Blonde Redhead song "Defeatist Anthem".
With Connan and the Mockasins
With Dev Hynes
- Myths 001: Collaborative Recordings Captured in Marfa
With Soft Hair
- Soft Hair (2016)
As Connan Mockasin
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions|
|Please Turn Me Into the Snat||Self-released in 2010||39||—||—|
|Forever Dolphin Love||Released in 2011 by Phantasy and Because Music||—||164||—|
|Caramel||Released in 2013 by Phantasy, Because Music and Mexican Summer||—||—||195|
|Jassbusters||Released in 2018 by Mexican Summer||—||—||190|
I Want Troll With You - Gentle Dom (Andrew VanWyngarden of MGMT) Remix
|Released in 2020 by Looking Glass||—||—||—|
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