Happy end of September! As another month comes to an end, we have a new artist to spotlight on the blog. Although I’ve been able to get these posts down to all Q&As minus the initial post, I’ve unfortunately had to share another one that’s not in a Q&A format. I reached out to the group I’m spotlighting and although I had questions prepared, we weren’t able to get it finalized in time for the post to go up. Regardless, I wanted to feature them as the artist and stick with the initial plan!
Name: Overcoats, comprised of Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell.
Ages: N/A (Research shows they should each be around 27/28 years old).
Hometown: Hana and JJ are based in New York City and met while attending college in Connecticut.
Genre: Self-described as “folk, r&b/soul, folktronica, indie, soulful” on their Bandcamp page. Basically, don’t assume they are one genre, because they will continue to surprise you.
For Fans Of: Kacy Hill, Morgan Saint, IDER, Anna Of The North, MUNA
Label: Previously on Arts & Crafts, currently on Loma Vista Recordings (Local Natives, Rhye, Soccer Mommy, St. Vincent).
Get to know Overcoats: If the band name sounds familiar, it’s because I’ve been obsessive over Overcoats for the past two years or so. I initially heard their album in its entirety around this time in 2017 and then got to see them perform at Lincoln Hall just a couple months later. Though the album came into the picture towards the end of 2017, it quickly became one of my favorite releases of the year, landing at #8 on my best of list. Hana and JJ met in 2011 while attending college at Wesleyan University and were drawn to each other for their vibrant tastes in music. They started creating music together and quickly made a name for themselves in the college music scene—one where women-identifying groups were not well represented. Overcoats’ presence on campus made a splash and they ended up winning the battle of the bands competition during their senior year at school. Hana and JJ released an EP in 2015, which led to positively-recieved performances at South by Southwest the following year and a full length release in 2017. Young was critically acclaimed and named one of the best albums of the year by NPR. Young was written by Overcoats and co-produced by Nicolas Vernhes, who has also worked with Daughter, The War on Drugs, Dirty Projectors and more. Autre Ne Veut, Myles Avery and Ben Baptie were also involved in the production. Since the debut album release, Overcoats has ventured onto headlining tours, supported artists like Tennis, Mitski and most recently, Two Door Cinema Club. Their most recent is a three-track EP, featuring the lead single “The Fool,” in which Hana and JJ fearlessly shave their heads during the music video.
Why You Should Care: Overcoats’ breathtaking harmonies, intensely raw lyrics and interesting combination of folk and electronic-infused production choices made them instantly one of my favorite acts and have continued to be on my radar. Not only have they been keeping a low profile for the past year or so, but I know their return with “The Fool” means they’re back and better than ever. The track, as explained in this Insta post, was inspired by a tarot card of the same name, which “signifies taking a leap of faith and jumping into the unknown. Conceptually, it felt like the beginning of the project. We wiped the slate clean and decided to jump. That’s why the video includes the footage of us shaving our heads. We’re ‘The Fool’, and we’re taking our leap.” In a world where it seems like virtually everyone in the music industry are starting the sound the same, Overcoats continues to showcase an authentic and unique idea of identity.