Overcoats and Their Journey From Their First Hit Album, "YOUNG," To Their Headlining Tour This Spring!
Interview by: Camila Camacho
Blending their distinct sounds to produce a plethora of acclaimed music, this dynamic duo has released another remarkable album, “Winner.” From pop, country, and electronic influences, to their upcoming tour this spring, the members of Overcoats, Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell, have been consistently delivering versatile and exceptional works and projects since their first debut album, "YOUNG."
After having to largely cancel most of their shows from their previous attempted headline tour due to the pandemic, Overcoats are now excited to debut their first headline tour showcasing some of their new album, “Winner," along with many other preloved fan favorites! Mitchell shares that this is, “Basically the most exciting thing to happen to us in five years.” Despite the previous struggles regarding their tour, any nerves they may have are entirely “overshadowed by excitement.” They have gone beyond traditional performance styles and are eager to share their newfound aesthetic and expressions through this album and tour. “I think we’re always kind of into stage design and fashion really, but the vibe of it will be different on this tour. Last time it was very rock and roll and kind of grungy, and this time it’s going to be more flowy white dresses and road trip aesthetics. We were really inspired by Thelma and Louise when kind of putting together the visual story on the album. So, we’re just going to have fun with the design elements, I think," shares Elion.
Visuals are not the only evolving factor in the artists’ new projects. “Winner” is also unique in that Elion and Mitchell experienced a different writing process due to deliberate efforts for this album to be more collaborative, as well as changes simply from the state of the world. According to Mitchell, these works provided an outlet to release the intense emotions that accumulated during the pandemic. “Our first album, we basically didn’t let anyone else touch it other than the two people who were sort of recording it and kind of putting the songs together with us. And this time around, I feel like we opened the doors to other songwriters, other producers, and it was very fruitful at times…I think this process was particularly cathartic for us, the writing of this record, because we were coming out of a pandemic. As I had said, we ended up having to cancel our headline tour that was scheduled for 2020. We left our last label in 2021, so the process of writing these songs and, you know, creating the sonic backdrops for them was a particularly special time, kind of finding inspiration despite feeling a little bit dejected and rejected. And so, I think it was really important for us to sit down and process a lot of those feelings together and then create something beautiful out of that.”
Mitchell and Elion reflected on how their newfound experiences have taught them values they would love to share with their past selves, writing their earliest album, "YOUNG". Elion encourages her past self and others entering the industry to always preserve their artistic identity and passions, despite what others say. “Do not listen to other people about what your art should be … I think if you’re not being genuine to yourself then you’re kind of missing the point. And I think there is a lot of pressure to conform and change what you’re doing based on what is marketable or what is going to do well in an industry that is already so hard to find success in. You shoot yourself in the foot if you’re not true to yourself, because that is how you’re going to make the most unique and personal work that you can.”
Regardless of the dark times that came before the writing process, the album is full of plenty of lighthearted, spirited, and playful tracks. Mitchell is most excited about sharing “Want You Back.” The song’s brilliant imagery places the audience in New York where the artists lived and originally crafted the ideas for the tracks. Its straightforward nature does not “beat around the bush," according to Mitchell, which makes it “fun to sing and perform.” Despite having trouble just picking one favorite off of the album, Elion is eager to share the song “Winner.” “It feels very special to sing that one live. The end of that song kind of erupts into a louder, more joyful section, and I think you could really feel it in the audience when we enter that final part of the song, so I’m excited to do that on a larger scale.”
To hear both “Want You Back”, as well as the song and album “Winner”, go to Spotify or Apple Music!