Bad Bad Hats
Released on April 17, 2020
Indie rock band Bad Bad Hats has been around a while, and they’re kind of a big deal. Case in point: they’ve been featured by NPR and Pitchfork, and have toured with a little band called Third Eye Blind. Watching their music video for “Midway” confirms that they are the epitome of indie cool. Dig a little deeper, however, and you’ll find that frontperson Kerry Alexander has a penchant for goofiness. This is evident in their “Shame” music video, in which she runs around town posing ecstatically with a bowl of salad.
In this Buzzsession, Alexander and bandmate Chris Hodge give you a glimpse of quarantine life from their home in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. These quirky pair of videos prove that even rockstars are just like the rest of us: refreshingly normal. Their original song “Joseph” opens to the scene of Alexander and Hodges lounging casually in their enclosed patio on wicker furniture. Alexander does all the talking. “We’re at home, trying to stay healthy, trying to stay creative, trying to stay positive,” she says. “It’s been really great to see how everyone’s been making the best of the situation,” she continues, reminding us that we’re all in the same boat during this pandemic. “Be good to yourself, be good to others,” she says before signing off and getting to the music. The arrangement for “Joseph” is simple and purely acoustic, but the sound quality is clear. Hodge strums a classical guitar while Alexander plays a chime-y intro melody on acoustic guitar. The performance intermittently cuts to shots of the two bandmates giving us a tour of their modest home. It’s hard not to smile while watching Hodge staring restlessly out the window and Alexander hamming it up in various poses.
Their cover of “Love is All Around” is a tribute to The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and by extension their hometown of Minneapolis, in which the sitcom was set. Alexander introduces the song as one of her favorites while stretching out leisurely on her couch in her socks and Birkenstocks. “I think it’s kind of a nice message for these times,” she says. “I think if we keep looking out for each other, we’re gonna make it after all.” This time, Alexander takes strumming duty on her acoustic, while Hodge picks an intro melody on his classical. He joins her singing in unison on certain lines of the chorus. “It’s time you started livin’ / It’s time you let someone else do some givin’" is a thoughtful line about self-kindness, which is very apt during a period fraught with anxiety. Bad Bad Hats delivers a down-to-earth, lighthearted performance, providing us with some much-needed comfort. If we can’t sit around our living rooms, strumming and singing with dear friends, this is the next best thing.