Bloomington-based Hoops released their debut full-length, Routines, last Friday. To celebrate the album and prepare for their first headlining tour in the states, we asked the band for a playlist of songs that have influenced their unique sound. Hoops play at Baby’s All Right on June 8th, so don’t miss it! Check out the playlist and the band’s commentary below.
These songs shaped our creative approach to writing, recording, and mixing the album.
1. The Radio Dept. – Domestic Scene
This is the first track on the album Clinging to A Scheme which we keep on heavy rotation when we’re in the van or just hanging out. The production on this whole album was a major reference point for us when we were mixing Routines.
2. Yo La Tengo – Let’s Save Tony Orlando’s House
3. Sade – Sweetest Taboo
The drums on “Benjals” were basically directly lifted from this song lol. Also we just really like it, Sade is the smoothest.
4. Prefab Sprout – Bonny
This band is a huge influence on us from songwriting to production/mixing style. This song kind of encapsulates all of their best parts for us.
5. Women – Locust Valley
This song has a production style that’s really similar to our early tapes, and the arrangement is super cool. We don’t try too much to sound like them, but we were listening to them a lot while recording and mixing Routines.
6. The Clientele – (I Want You) More Than Ever
These guys do a wonderful job with lower-fi recordings and sparing use of instruments. When we initially started making our recordings on four track tape machines, we really tried to emulate that and do as much as we could with the limited tools at our disposal.
7. Joni Mitchell – Carey
This song always just makes us very happy when we listen to it, and Joni Mitchell is also just a master of writing beautiful lyrics and creating a completely unique cadence for each line. Sick chord arrangements too.
8. Chris Cohen – As If Apart
This guy never ceases to amaze us with the way he takes complex interweaving instrumental parts and makes them all sound so simple and palatable. He’s something of an inspiration for writing contemporary pop-type songs.