Dripping in harmonies, the new EP is somepoint of a post-quarantine comedvery own, through shades of St. Vincent and Simon & Garfunkel
By Alliboy Rapp
Indie-pop duo Overcoats have watched many the world: singer-songwriter Hana Elion spent some of her younger years in Jamaica, Uganda, and also Belize; JJ Mitchell was born in London and grew up in New York, England also, and also Egypt.
You are watching: I used to be scared of the d
But for both of them, New York is home. A lyric from “The Hardest Part,” a song from the group’s brand-new EP, “Used to be Scared of the Dark,” evokes a moment at the start of their career as soon as the pair stayed in, as Mitchell puts it, a “tiny shoebox” in Lower Manhattan: “First apartment on the Lower East Side, I’d hate the noise but you love the light.”
“I think New York has actually a special means of existing as both a challenging and beautiful truth,” claims Mitchell, who currently stays on the Upper West Side. “Also it encapsulates everybody’s dream.”
“Used to be Scared of the Dark,” a four-song EP written mainly in the time of lockdvery own, is out this particular day. Quarantine, but, didn’t necessarily impact their composing style also much—they’re provided to working semi-remotely, constantly pitching one another principles over the phone.
“The urgency of New York has actually really made it right into our process,” states Elion, that is based in Brooklyn. “Like if we have actually an idea on the street or on the submeans, we’re singing it into our phones, there’s the 1 a.m. ago and also forth—that sense of ambition and also urgency has actually always been a component of what we carry out.”
Taking cues from a wide range of artists favor the Velvet Underground, the Beach Boys and also Kacey Mustombs, “Used to be Scared of the Dark” is digital avant-pop dripping in harmonies—St. Vincent meets Simon and also Garfunkel. Overcoats is quietly, nearly inadvertently, reimagining what indie rock sounds and also looks favor.
Lhelp bareNeither Mitchell nor Elion felt destined for a career in music. They met in an arrival to sociology class at Wesleyan College in Connecticut—Mitchell was studying Middle East history and politics, Elion, approach of religion.
“It wasn’t specifically clear that we’d end up being an indie duo through those degrees,” Mitchell jokes.
Both had actually a keen interest in music though, and started dabbling in co-songcomposing, discovering they had actually a unique knack for singing in tight harmony. They finimelted their senior year of college through a win at the college’s fight of the bands. About a year after graduating, they released their 2015 dehowever self-titled EP, which featured some of those songs.
“It was the just point that made any type of sense to us,” claims Mitchell, “Everypoint just gets lhelp bare in those moments wright here you need to decide what you’re supposed to be doing via the remainder of your life. And we decided to follow what felt excellent, and also for us that was singing together and also not writing esstates.”
‘Like Radiohead, but cool’Their initially complete length LP, 2017’s “YOUNG,” was released on a little indie Canadian label, Arts & Crafts Productions, a deliberately independent option.
“All also frequently you watch somebody signing to a label and the majority of civilization want to tell them just how they need to look or what their songs have to sound choose,” Mitchell states. “It was really important for us to really cement that we were before we visited a label that could have actually opinions.”
Part of forging that identity supposed breaking into a genre of music that doesn’t constantly take as kindly to female duos. Elion and also Mitchell take this issue seriously, but they’re likewise not unwilling to crack a few jokes around it (while additionally keeping an “are-they-or-aren’t-they-together” mystique). An FAQ question on Overcoat’s webwebsite asks “How would certainly you define your music?” The answer: “Like Radiohead, but cool.”
“Radiohead just represents what has actually been walled off to us as female musicians and what has actually been really mansplained to us by male musicians,” Elion states, who noted that she and also Mitchell actually fairly prefer Radiohead. “When we were composing our last document, we realized that so many type of of our influences—glam rock and indie rock of the ‘90s—it was all boy bands. And we were just favor, ‘Fuck, this sucks’.”
“Used To Be Scared of the Dark” is the first time the band also has collaborated through exterior musicians, which they did remotely through artists Tennis, Lawrence Rothmale, and Center Kids.
Still, Overcoats continues to be “a community of two—and it has been considering that the start,” Mitchell claims. “In opening points up both of us have to be much less precious around what we’re putting on the table.”
Their last album, 2020’s “The Fight,” released days prior to the pandemic shutdowns, ironically concentrated on “apocalypse … climate readjust, fatality, and also simply what to perform as soon as things go tits up, in a poetic means,” Elion states. The songs on “Used to be Scared of the Dark” feel prefer the next chapter; a sense of stamina and perseverance in the after-effects of hardship.
“This body of work feels favor the sort of comedvery own after you’ve had actually the fight,” claims Mitchell. “Like you’re ago from fight and you’re showing on it.”
There’s a lot to reflect on—Overcoats are currently at work-related on their next album—but this EP uses an possibility to pausage and also reflect.
See more: Why Do Birds Sleep On One Foot, Why Do Birds Stand On One Leg
“It really is an expansion of who we are as civilization and also our relationship and what we go via in the civilization,” Elion states. “So I hope that human being can view it as authentic, and also additionally because of that, find means that it can relate —and bring healing—to their own stays.”
“Used To Be Scared of the Dark” is out this day. Overcoats will play their following live show September 18 at the Music Hevery one of Williamsburg.