If you haven’t heard of Overcoats yet, you will. This electronic-pop duo, consisting of Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell, are making some serious noise in the indie music scene. Describing their sound is difficult, but to quote directly from their website “a sort of Chet Faker meets Simon & Garfunkel” isn’t a half bad comparison. If you’re a fan of Marian Hill, Overcoats are sort of a softer take on a similar electronic sound.
The two artists are currently based in New York, but they didn’t grow up together. Elion was born in New York, but did her growing up in Washington. Meanwhile, Mitchell was born in London and spent time growing up in New York. The duo’s musical journey began while attending Wesleyan University, where they first met. A thriving music scene, the twosome entered the school’s battle of the bands in their senior year. Oh yeah, they won too.
Not only do the two work together, Elion and Mitchell have a unique friendship beyond music that has been described as ‘near-telepathic’. This connection they have to each other translates to their music seamlessly with soothing harmonies layered with infatuating yet dark ominous lyrics. The cooperation and unanimity is clear in their music. Rather than back-and-forth dialogues, the two sing on top of one another and it works. It works really well.
On April 21st, 2017, the pair released their full-length debut album Young. The album explores themes of love, broken-heartedness, compromise, and strength. The third track on the album, 23, weaves through all these themes stratified with velvety electronic beats and harmonious vocals: This is how we spend our days/ Lookin’ for the love we misplaced/ Lookin’ at the choices we made/ And how with time they become our chains. Other tracks from this album kick things up a notch, racking in heavier bass and more powerful vocals, check out Leave The Light On and The Fog.
These two are having fun making music, it’s evident in the way they perform and present themselves. I stumbled across Overcoats on YouTube performing three songs off their new album on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert. It’s hard not to feel envious while watching how much fun they’re having together. It’s also remarkable how great their voices sound, the live performance is almost indistinguishable from the album.
Overcoats are set to play tomorrow (June 3rd) in Toronto at the music festival Field Trip. Tickets are still available! If you’re already set to go, then I highly suggest checking out this duo.