Overcoats on Staying Creative During a Pandemic and Their New Album "The Fight"
"Art is the way people make sense of the world."
Overcoats are a New York based musical duo conquering the music industry and taking the world by a storm with their folk meets electro pop music. Many even describe their genre as "dance music with meaning," but it truly is difficult to compartmentalize their sound. Absorbed with tandem vocals, synths, and raw lyrics, Overcoats are a duo that can only be described as ground breaking. In March of 2020 they dropped their newest body of work, an album entitled "The Fight," and songs like "Fire & Fury" coincidentally have served as a positive echo of motivation during the pandemic for so many.
"There's a fire
There's a fury
Sky is fallin' but we'll get through it"
Who do you both look up to musically?
We both admire a lot of strong unique female artists including Fiona Apple, Amy Winehouse, and Lizzo!
What is your writing/production process? How hands on are you both and do you interchange your creative roles?
We definitely share in every part of the process. The two of us write everything together (sometimes one of us tackles the instrumental side of things while the other is focused on lyrics) before showing our creations to anyone! We produce a lot of our initial demos by sending logic and Garage Band files back and forth and adding to them. We then go into the studio with professional producers whose aesthetic choices we agree with…and flesh things out and re-record in higher fidelity etc.
How have you been staying creative during the pandemic?
We’ve been trying not to pressure ourselves into being overly creative. We’ve let ourselves live and heal and experience the pandemic as it comes. At moments it has been helpful to write and create music as an outlet and cathartic release. But at other times, it doesn’t feel like the right thing to do and we’ve allowed ourselves the freedom to just ‘be’.
Have you experimented with virtual shows? Do you think that this is a music/performance medium that will upkeep post pandemic?
We did a lot of virtual performances for the first 2 months of quarantine, following the release of The Fight in March. We enjoyed them but definitely felt frustrated by the distance and the technological difficulties that accompany it. Looking to the future of virtual shows, we are hoping that the technology improves and that it can be a meaningful way for folks to tune in and enjoy music. We’re planning to do a few different performances online later this summer, so keep your eyes peeled on our socials!
Were you performing live before the pandemic and did you have to cancel shows?
We had just finished a 6 week tour with the band Cold War Kids. Which was epic and also exhausting. We were meant to play some really fun showcases at SXSW (which was also canceled) and then start our headline tour in April to play The Fight for people around the country. We had to cancel/postpone the entire tour which was pretty gut wrenching.
What was the decision to shave your head in “The Fool” music video? Was that just pure commitment to a video vision or was it something that you guys wanted to do for a while?
The song is about taking control of your life in a major way. We knew the video needed to be shocking and ring in this new chapter of music. The idea started out as a joke...and then became very real. It was a powerful way for us to play with gender roles and wipe the slate clean on how people saw us.
What do you miss most about performing live?
Just being around so many people. You're constantly surrounded by people who are involved in your music, whether you're in the car for 8 hours joking around with your bandmates, or talking to fans -- there's a feeling of community that we miss a lot.
Why do you think it’s important for us to support artists during this time of uncertainty?
Art is the way people make sense of the world. The world makes NO sense right now, and people need art to find solace in that fact, and in our togetherness. Artists are healers, and they have an important role in the ecosystem of life.
How have you been using your platform to advocate for the Black Lives Matter movement?
Absolutely. It's a very important time for everyone to be vocal. We share daily protest information on our socials; we really believe in supporting that method of resistance. We try to share action items that people can engage with too.
Are you quarantined together? How has the pandemic impacted your music?
We are not quarantined together unfortunately (JJ has been quarantining on the Upper West Side of New York, and Hana in Brooklyn.) We joke that writing in a pandemic isn't so different from our regular process, because if it's 1am and one of us has an idea, we're working remotely anyway.
What was the most special experience to come out of the making of “The Fight?”
Wow, it's tough to pick just one. The moment that comes to mind is when we finished the vinyl. We wrote all the credits and a message to our fans on the inside of it. We realized that the music was finally going to get a chance to help people, and that made us smile.
You can follow Overcoats on Instagram and Twitter @thisisovercoats.