(SXSW 2017 flavoured!) Single Review: Hiccup – Teasin’

By on Monday, 16th January 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

As far as band formation stories go, NYC’s Hiccup has to be right near the top of the list for the title of Most Unique. The band’s co-lead vocalists, Hallie Bulleit and Alex Clute, first worked together in The LLC, which is the house band for The Chris Gethard Show, a late-night TV program on the Fusion Network. The band’s job on the variety show is to create quick, energetic snippets of music to accompany the fast-paced action, and Bulleit and Clute connected over their shared love of ephemeral-but-catchy pop hooks. According to Clute, they wanted to “translate [those pop hooks] into something similar but with more of a lasting impression”. They recruited drummer Piyal Basu, and Hiccup was officially formed.

Hiccup are set to release their debut LP ‘Imaginary Enemies’ on the 24th of March via Father/Daughter Records, just after their scheduled appearance at SXSW 2017. The album’s lead single is titled ‘Teasin’’, and it demonstrates straightaway the frenetic musical energy that Bulleit and Clute must have developed as bandmates in The LLC. Despite its coy title, ‘Teasin’’ is a lo-fi sonic assault, driven by an agitated rhythm and a battering ram of guitar distortion. Unfortunately, the production and/or instrumentation don’t do the dual-layered vocal line any favours, and I wasn’t able to make out many of the rapid-fire lyrics. The press release for ‘Teasin’’ calls Hiccup a “breakneck-paced, harmony-laden indie band”, but any attempt at vocal harmony between Bulleit and Clute has been drowned in a morass of guitars cranked up to 10 on the fuzz meter.

All that being said, if ‘Teasin’’ is any indication, Hiccup’s concise pop-punk approach is sure to be an instant hit at SXSW, where an aggressive and striking first impression can make all the difference to a breaking band’s success. Their infectious, high-energy sound is perfectly-tailored for a festival atmosphere; I can see it working equally well on sunny daytime stages and dark late night club showcases. Look for Hiccup to be one of the most buzzed about American bands in Austin this spring.

6/10

As always, any information we bring you about SXSW 2017 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts, and the artist lineup is subject to change. For news and updates on SXSW 2017, please consult the festival’s official schedule here. Keep an eye on TGTF for further preview coverage of the festival ahead of our yearly pilgrimage to Austin in March.

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