Bloomington, IN based four-piece band Hoops craft hyper-melodic songs, built around power-pop chords, deceptively complex drum patterns, and rock-anthem sentiments that hide some tellingly dark thoughts. Three of the four members write and sing, each a frontman and a sideman simultaneously. During a live show, the bandmates can be seen frequently swapping instruments and positions on stage. The setup isn't democratic so much as it is simply adaptable and committed: doing what the song demands, getting the sound just right.
Hoops' full-length debut, Routines is a bittersweet and honest record that sounds both warmly familiar and jarringly distinctive. Whereas their previous releases were recorded on four-track tape machines in living rooms and basements, Routines marks the band's first sessions in an actual studio – namely, Rear House Recording in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with Jarvis Taveniere (Widowspeak, Quilt). Those sessions, however, were just one step in the band's careful creative process. After a few months of touring, they returned to Indiana to set up their gear in bassist/vocalist Kevin Krauter's parents' basement and began experimenting with the studio-recorded tracks.
Some songs they only tinkered with, others they scrapped completely and rebuilt from the ground up. They were determined to make a record that sounded like Hoops. The result is the sharpest and clearest delineation of the band's sound thus far, drawing from and emphasizing each members' distinctive influences and personal styles: four guys making music that is larger than themselves.