An Appetite for Music Making: Bad Bad Hats


Upon arriving to First Avenue to shoot Bad Bad Hats, I was extremely excited. First, their opener Jessica Manning was phenomenal, when it comes to vocal abilities, she plays around and can do anything from covers, acoustic and even some modern/alternative soul. Manning and her band sounded amazing and Jessica was such a great stage presence. She had the crowd in her hands from her first song till her last. I enjoyed her music, especially “Homestead” and “I Still Wait” which were some of my favorites. I would say keep an eye on her, I think that she’s going to see a lot more of Jessica Manning — and I can’t wait!

Psychic Reader is the first LP from the Minneapolis indie pop trio Bad Bad Hats. Vocalist/guitarist Kerry Alexander's pure voice might be defined as "sweet" or "childlike," but her innocence is belied by her apt songwriting, which translates her experiences into poignant, universal stories which attract a wide variety of crowds.

The concert experience seemed unlike any other, with kazoo solos and songs about gas stations like “Super America”, Bad Bad Hats created an atmosphere unlike any other. After their first few sets Kerry talked to the audience and I felt as though I was in a comedy club, the girl was making the audience laugh and cry after all of her subtle yet hilarious remarks. After the show I asked a few concert goers Michael, Margaret, Lindsay and Laura what brought them all together for the concert, they replied with Bad Bad Hats graduated from their alma mater Macalaster College and that they were obsessed with their songs like Joseph, It Hurts and All Nighter. Some girls came as far east as Massachusetts and as far south as Missouri!

The group has definitely become a local favorite selling out their two home shows at First Avenue. But with beats that are bouncy like their most popular single Midway, it’s hard to stay away from the iconic trio. There are quirky electronic noises sprinkled all over the LP, a sign that Bad Bad Hats are a new band trying things out. Spoiler: They also said how they will be releasing a new LP in June of 2018 so keep your eyes pealed.

Interview with Kerry:

S.S: How did your band form?:
Kerry: We all made music on our own at first, then we went to college and at first, Chris and I found each others demos on MySpace. Later I wrote a duet, but needed a male voice so my friends who knew Chris told him to do it so we did! It wasn’t very good at first. After writing together for a bit Chris and I both went abroad for a semester of college — while abroad Kerry wrote a lot of her songs one of which is “Things We Never Say” — when we got back our Senior year, our friend Noah had just transferred in and we decided we needed to become a band.
S.S: What are your top three artists at the moment?:
Kerry: Oh that's a hard one, well our friends just released some amazing stuff The Band Carol, Andy Shaw, and probably The Beths.
S.S: What was the influence behind some of your music videos?:
Kerry: Shame video, basically we were running out of time, our friend Ian said think of some ideas, and they wrote some stupid funny ideas in an email and sent them. Then Ian responded that he loved the idea of me just laughing with a salad — at one point it was a very popular meme of women just laughing while holding salads — so then we just decided to run around town and we had our friend Dustin do a guitar solo while I was just sitting there which was the hardest part of the whole video because I couldn't laugh at Dustin going crazy while doing a guitar solo.
S.S:What was the influence behind Midway:
Kerry: Basically, the very first verse of the song: “Sitting in the backseat on a Saturday night. Places racing past me spitting halogen light. I wish that you would ask me if I’m feeling alright. The shadows you were casting nearly swallowed the night” - I wrote that verse sitting in the back seat of my friends Jetta. After getting tacos, I think, and I was just feeling grumpy and just staring out the window looking at all the shops and lights of Lake Street. Then I got this idea for the song! Later as I continued writing the song, I wanted to tell a story of like an ex-boyfriend. What sparked the title of Midway was that, the last place I saw someone was at the Chicago Midway Airport. I wanted the theme to be as though it was about the end of a relationship, like how the feelings feel like it is coming to an end. And with being at an airport, with so many people passing you by going on with their own lives, yet you will always stop and wonder and look to see if that one person is still there. Because of the place you look for that one person in the last place that you saw them sort of, if that makes sense? But, yeah! That’s about it.

Coverage by Sophie Sissi

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