Alt pop duo Overcoats are getting some major airplay over on the alt-rock stations with their latest single “The Fool” off their upcoming album The Fight, due out March 6. The strong female empowerment duo are making waves not only with their lyrics, but with their powerful images in their videos.
In the video for “The Fool”, the duo (Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell) make a powerful statement by shaving each other’s heads. “The song ‘The Fool’ is about your relationship with your own expectations with yourself. It’s about uncertainty about not knowing what the future brings and how that feeling can be frustrating and uncomfortable. It is inspired by The Fool tarot card, which signifies a leap of faith,” says Elion. “There’s a lot of pressure or fit into in a mold of what a pop artist would be and what a female should look like or be like and we wanted to buck that,” says Mitchell. “So the song is the first exploration of the kind of fuck you attitude where there is all this pressure, all this expectation, and the future is so unknown. You can create your own certainty by forging your own path by making it happen. We wrote the song, the rest of the record, and shaved our heads in the video and took control,” states Elion.
“We wanted take control of our own bodies and on the war on women’s bodies. We wanted to bind ourselves together, so we shaved each other’s heads. We are not the first women in history who has done this. Sinead O’Connor, Grace Jones, Bishop Briggs have done this. We wanted to tell the world who we are, or the way someone should look. Hair is so much like a code of armor. And to strip that away is so powerful,” says Mitchell. “I think a huge part of it is that two women did this together,” states Elion.
Their new album sees the duo ever evolving, especially since their critical debut, 2017’s Young. This next record is their rebellion against the world and how they fit into it all. “We wrote this record after Trump was elected, we lost friends to gun violence and suicide. We wanted to get more aggression out lyrically and sonically. There’s a lot more guitars on this record as well,” says Elion.
The duo loves the way Swedish pop artists have melded genres. “Some of our biggest influences are Lykke Li, Icona Pop, and First Aid Kit. Many of those artists have influenced our last record and our new record,” says Mitchell. Elion adds, “You can call it accidentally Swedish.”
Their music can easily crosses boundaries, but the duo are being currently heavily played strictly on the Alt Rock stations. “We are less concerned with the demarcation of radio stations, but we want the most people to listen to the songs. We make music to help others and want people to hear it. Although we are concerned with being tastemakers and making stuff that sounds modern and new, we also want to reach our mainstream listeners all over the country,” says Mitchell.
“The production is what ends up defining the genre. I hope we can be on every type of radio station. We like to be all over the map. Even on our upcoming album, we have a song that might be on alt-rock but can easily be played on country formats as well,” says Elion.
You can currently catch Overcoats live on tour with Cold War Kids. “It’s grueling, but really fun. It’s hard in this day and age with everything online. Touring gives you the opportunity to play live music into a community. We like going to the merch table and meeting everyone,” says Elion. Cold War Kids are really really nice people and we watch and admire treat everyone with respect. We vowed to treat everyone on tour like that”, concludes Elion.
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photos / Shervin Lainez
story / Robert Frezza