The purpose of an overcoat is to act as a tough exterior, protecting our clothing from all of the elements the world throws at us. It protects what we consider to be sensitive. The vulnerability that comes with exposing our clothes that are tarnished by the weather allows everyone to get a look at what we’ve experienced. Even though it’s merely our daily outfit that we’re hiding, nobody can pinpoint exactly what our outfit looks like. We leave that to the onlooker’s imagination until we decide to reveal ourselves.
The music of the now New York based outfit, Overcoats, mirrors much of the same characteristics possessed by the article of clothing they take their name from. The moniker stems from the strength Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell find in making music together. Each note helps build up a warm layer of protection for the vulnerability that the lyrics contain. Their sound is dark and captivating, spare and rhythmic. The Overcoats EP released in 2015 gave a glimpse into what the group is capable of. They combine dance beats with spare electronics and folk harmonies to create a unique sound that is reminiscent of Sylvan Esso combined with The Staves, but more subdued. The focus lies on the emotional picture painted by the lyrics, framed by honesty and shimmering electronics. Their 2016 single, “Nighttime Hunger,” gave us a perfect example of that. It begins with knocking. Once inside, the world is overcome with a fear of the night and what the darkness brings out in all of us. “Little Memory” is a reverb laden journey down memory lane. “We like to write about interpersonal things that aren’t spoken of, or are slightly taboo, “Little Memory” is about memories, time, timing, dreams and regrets. It’s always sad with us,” said Hana Elion in an interview with LA Music Blog. Similar sentiments are further explored on other standout tracks, “Smaller Than My Mother” and “The Fog.”
Since releasing their debut EP last year, the duo have been on a very successful tour in Europe. Their shows are said to be captivatingly beautiful. Seeing the playful vocal interplay between the two is a sight to behold. The European tour was crowned by a headlining performance in the popular Dublin venue, Whelan’s, as well as a set at the Longitude Festival alongside the likes of James Blake and Alt-J. Once back in New York, they set up shop and played a few performances including a show at Mercury Lounge. They have been garnering critical praise as well as an excited fan base ever since. The band has been featured multiple times by NPR, All Things Go, and even Perez Hilton. They also ranked third in NPR’s fan poll for favorite new musicians of 2016 so far. Their appeal seems to know no bounds.
Overcoats is currently in the studio recording what is already a highly anticipated debut album. If the small taste we’ve gotten from their EP and single are any indication, we are all in for quite a treat when this album drops.