Hoops were friends before they were a band. Even without looking into the band’s backstory, you can just feel it all over their debut album Routines.
The Indiana-based act crafted an album that sounds like the exact opposite of their home state, the sun-drenched synths and noodling guitars could easily soundtrack a windows-open drive across the Sunshine Skyway bridge or along A1A on Florida’s opposite coast. Coming from four dudes raised in a place that is still currently experiencing grey skies and temps in the low 40s, Routines seems like a communal fantasy. It’s a riff of a made-up place to escape to, between friends who are impossibly locked in and showcasing the sort of chemistry that an improv troupe would kill for.
“It’s always nice to be in a group like this,” said guitarist Kevin Krauter when we spoke to him about the band’s new album. “It’s just kind of hanging out with your buddies and not giving a sh*t. There’s no ice to break. There’s no pretense, but there’s also no courtesy.”
Krauter said that notable lack of bullsh*t really comes through when the group get in the studio together. While the group started out as a solo project of vocalist Drew Auscherman, and owed more to the icy textures of Ohneotrix Point Never than the sun-dappled indie pop of Routines, it has warmed as he loosened his grasp on the project and allowed his longtime friends to join the band.
“Tha’s the advantage we have,” Krauter said, adding that Auscherman was “glad to step back from the role of sole writer.”