The first time I heard Hoops was a live set they played at Market Hotel last month when opening for Whitney. However by the end of the show, it was the cascading instrumental genius of Hoops that still lingered in my ears, as my friend and I waited at the M platform for the long train ride home. The Bloomington, IN band first began as a solo project of singer and guitarist Drew Auscherman before connecting with bassist Kevin Krauter, drummer James Allen, and guitarist Keagan Beresford.
“Cool 2” serves as a wonderful example of the band’s easy, cruising sound. The repetitive guitar lick that greets us in the beginning of the track continues throughout, creating a upbeat quality to the otherwise buzzing-just-below-the-surface vibe we receive from the vocals and drums. The song simultaneously spaces out and divides the myriad of instruments, creating a clean division of sound while at the same time skillfully layering those elements upon one another. In another paradox, the tempo of the song is fast-paced and urgent, though the sound of the song couldn’t be more relaxed, elevating their meandering style to fine, intentional artistry. While Hoops has only been on the scene since the January release of their first “tape” (followed by Tape 2 and 3), the immense promise and complexity of their seemingly easy-listening music cannot be emphasized enough. If you’re looking for sweet summer music to wander around with, while also turning your brain on to become lost in their electric, fluid melodies, give “Cool 2” a spin, or a hundred.
“Cool 2” precedes their self-titled EP out in August through Fat Possum Records. The band is touring this summer, and dates can be found here.