Brooklyn-based duo Overcoats have released their second studio album 'The Fight'.
Earlier this month, Brooklyn-based indie-pop duo Overcoats released their second album, the aptly titled 'The Fight'.
New York natives Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell have etched a ten-song battle cry with 'The Fight' – their vision is not about picking up arms, but rather about picking oneself up.
"The idea you have to fight for who you are, what you want, and what you hope to see in the world became poignant for us," Overcoats says. "We realised the thing to do is not to wait for life to get easier, but to start fighting harder."
Given our rapidly changing world in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Overcoats sentiments are a timely reminder that often the power of change comes from within and we all have the capability to be part of the wave that enables such an outcome.
While the future certainly remains cloudy at best, the power of the human spirit to adapt rapidly to unforeseen change provides plenty of hope.
Please note the following Q&A with Overcoats was answered in late February.
How did you two come to start writing music together? We were friends first. And about four years into our friendship – after sharing a lot of experiences and living side by side in college – we tried to write a song together about a mutual struggle with our respective loved ones.
It came so naturally and the harmonies sounded so tight that we both fell over in shock and the rest is history.
When it comes to your songwriting process, do you take equal responsibility or do you each take specific roles? We write everything together and we always say that a song is not an 'Overcoats' song until we've both contributed to it. Sometimes we sit down in the same room and write together, other times we text each other voice memos and piece things together remotely.
Your new album 'The Fight' – what is the theme/ message behind the album? It draws on the multifaceted concept of fighting – whether it's a fight with a significant other, a fight for rights and representation in politics, or a fight against inner demons.
It's an album that is supposed to provide hope, and remind everyone that even in these apocalyptic times, we have to keep trying. We want people to feel powerful in who they are and what they can achieve.
How does it differ from (or builds on) your first album 'Young'? It's an evolution, sonically and lyrically, to a more unapologetic rock & roll sound, but all the while, keeping our vocal harmonies at the core.
Something you've had to fight for in your life? Respect in the recording studio.
How has your tour with Cold War Kids been going? Amazing. Such a fun tour, with such a great group. They've shown us the meaning of real rock & roll. We had such a blast with them.
When can we expect an Overcoats Australian tour? What can we bribe you with to get here faster? Um, what can we bribe YOU GUYS with to book us on the next flight? We are so excited to play Australia. Definitely think it's in the cards sometime this year.
We hear you're fans of thrift shopping – what's your best-ever thrift shop buy? Gosh, that's like picking your favourite child. . . we definitely get some of our favourite pieces from thrift stores. Hana got this full cheetah suit from a thrift store in Mexico City, as well as these leather pants she's been wearing on tour recently. JJ always finds amazing black boots.
Let's go thrift shopping in Brooklyn! Where are we going and what are we seeing? We're going to Williamsburg. Some of our favourites are Dusty Rose, 10 ft single, and Monk Vintage. We'll also stop by Mother of Junk for the best antiques. Then we'll go to Milk Bar for some cereal milk flavoured ice cream. We know that's not vintage clothing, but we had to throw it in.
If you could dress a famous person in thrift clothing, who would you choose? JJ is obsessed with Alexa Chung, so probably her. Hana would choose the cast of 'Love Island'.
Tell us about the designers behind some of your on-stage clothing? We've had the honour of working with some amazing designers. We've worn a lot of Mr. Larkin, Wray, Claire Barrow, and others. We love to support female emerging designers. We also have been wearing these painted jeans that JJ made, with the lyrics of our album on them.
Rest of 2020 for Overcoats; what's the agenda? Tour North America, then hopefully Australia, then hopefully move to Australia.
Lastly, the floor is yours; anything you'd like to share with us? Follow us on TikTok - it's worth it.
'The Fight' is available now.
Update: Overcoats were meant to be touring till COVID-19 skittled those plans. But these inventive ladies have a solution.
"We're gonna do something special. We were supposed to be on tour right now at SXSW, and we are missing connecting with you guys so much.
"We are gonna start doing something called Friday Night Fights (get it lol) – so we can have a special evening with you every week. #jointhefight at 8:30pm ET (US time) Friday nights."
The first Friday Night Fights show is 20 March and will be live streamed on Instagram.