Brooklyn alt-pop duo, Overcoats, (Hana + JJ) announce a new EP called, Used To Be Scared Of The Dark and share the first single, The Hardest Part, featuring retro-pop duo, Tennis, along with a music video directed by Asha Maura. The four-track project will also include contributions from Middle Kids, Lawrence Rothman, and Local Natives’, Ryan Hahn. Initially workshopping the EP on tour, Hana and JJ found that the songs grew and morphed and soon inspired opportunities for collaboration. From the tour bus, they reached out to friends to contribute their perspective to the project and amplify the songs. “All of these songs were made remotely, which was a really wild experience,” Hana says about the process. “It required a lot of trust in ourselves and in our collaborators. We have loved all of these artists for so long, we knew that the intersection between their sound and ours would be cool no matter what.”
While Overcoats’ previous releases saw them deep in the trenches, channeling resilience through the alt-pop lens of bright harmonies, pummeling guitars and empowering lyrics; Used To Be Scared Of The Dark revels in resolutions and the resulting self-growth, and presents a more laid-back, folk-hued palette. It explores honouring the past uphill battles and acknowledging current feelings, but searching for stability.
This sonic and thematic shift is most distinct on The Hardest Part. With compressed acoustic guitar layers, sunny keys, and twang-tinged melodies aided by Alaina of Tennis’s airy vocals, the song is a peaceful, cinematic ode to self-forgiveness.
Overcoats say about The Hardest Part, “This song is about coming to terms with a relationship being over. And the hard reality that you may never know where that person ends up or what they do. It’s about letting go. We brought this song to Tennis because it needed their nostalgic retro pop sound to help tell this story. And it needed to be cooler. Alaina’s sultry vocals tickle the ears throughout the track and the signature Tennis guitar sounds soothe along the lyrically heavy journey.”
Alaina and Patrick of Tennis add, “Hana and JJ are like family to us. We love them as artists and humans and would always say yes to working with them. This was our first long distance collaboration and the whole experience was effortless and a much needed distraction from the relentless disappointment of last year.”
About the video, director, Asha Maura says, “The video for ‘The Hardest Part’ is the first of a three part video. In this series of videos we follow a young couple getting ready to go out. The first video does not reveal where they will go but as the next two videos roll out we will start to connect with these characters and the evening they are about to have. This is a story about young love meeting for the first time and connecting at a party. We wanted to emulate a feeling that most have had and so many are missing right now, even the idea of meeting a stranger and getting close to them immediately feels so distant right now.”
Following the release of The Hardest Part, the band will be launching Overcoats – Spotlight Sessions, a combination of music and conversation about each song with the featured artists. Catch the first episode with Tennis on April 14 on Spotify.
In 2020 Overcoats released their 10-track sophomore album The Fight. The record speaks to the ubiquitous feeling of anxiety when looking at the current chaos around us, and has proven to be a prescient document for persevering through an exceedingly difficult year. The album’s linked themes of overcoming adversity, avowing friendship, striving for loyalty, and seeking hope are needed more than ever. As people have been starved for a light at the end of a tunnel and meaningful interaction, Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell of Overcoats offer a rallying cry.
Following The Fight came a remixed and extended edition of the album, which features reworked tracks from Shura, Porches, Caroline Rose, Yoke Lore, Yumi Zouma, Billy Lemos, GUM & Ginoli, Local Natives, Joey Pecoraro, SASAMI, Ryan Hemsworth, and Alice Ivy.