These three friends from central Indiana, each one a distinctive singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, had reached a point where years of hard work and creativity were just starting to pay off. They were hailed as one of the most inventive young bands around, with comparisons to Guided by Voices, My Bloody Valentine, and the Radio Dept., and that’s exactly when they broke up the band.
With Hoops on the shelf, the three friends went back home and got on with their lives.
Freed from the weight of Hoops, they kept writing what they thought sounded like Hoops songs, demos of which they sent back and forth to each other. There was no pressure to make anything of them, though, and that revived some of the excitement they felt when they made their first cassettes.
Just a few months later, they met up in Bloomington, Indiana, to record Halo at Russian Recording, the studio that had been home to L’il Bub (RIP). They invited their friend Ben Lumsdaine to produce. In addition to mixing and producing records for locals Amy O and Steve Marino, he had worked on Krauter’s solo albums and toured with him, and he immediately settled in as the fourth Hoop.
One thing they wanted to avoid was falling right back into their old routines. Instead, they took on new roles that allowed them more room to breathe, more space to create. They even wrote a few songs together—a first the band’s history. Hoops take obvious joy in playing these songs and playing around with them, often nodding to their favorite bands but always putting those familiar sounds in new contexts.
An album defined by musical exuberance, full of gratitude and generosity to counteract and compliment the deep undercurrents of melancholy coursing through every hook and riff, Halo sounds like a lively conversation among close friends, each song a high five, as they look for some stability in their lives and figure out what they owe themselves, each other, and everyone around them.
"Hoops know the power of dream-pop" - Pitchfork.
"Sprightly lo-fi constructed with an attention to production and atmosphere that you'd expect from someone with a background in noise music." - The FADER.
"There are legit flashes of brilliance to be found in the tapes’ collective" - Gorilla Vs. Bear.
“Propelled by ample grooving keys and guitar, 'Rules' is a two minute jaunt into the past when synths and subdued vocals were king.” - Stereogum.
“Simply put, this is the best dream/jangle-pop debut since the aforementioned Oshin and an absolute must for fans of this genre...absolutely terrific and addictive debut full-length album.” - Under The Radar.
"The Bloomington, Ind. outfit blends shimmering guitars, woozy keyboards, and clacking drum tracks for their sun-flecked brand of indie-rock, which evokes peers like Real Estate and DIIV." - Entertainment Weekly.
RIYL: Barrie, The Marias, Beach Fossils, Men I Trust, Blood Orange, Part Time, Real Estate, Crumb, Ariel Pink, The Clientele, Clairo, No Vacation, Video Age, Kevin Krauter, Golden Days, Hovvdy
FORMAT INFORMATIONDinked Edition LP Info: • Exclusive green & blue marbled vinyl.
• Exclusive alternate colour sleeve.
• Exclusive 7” of ‘English Breakfast’ EP.
• 400 pressing.