Women in Music 2019

Listen to Overcoats' Middle School Dance & Wesleyan Dorm Party-Inspired #TBT Mixtape

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Chloé Le Drezen
The Overcoats

Welcome to #TBT Mixtape, Billboard's series that showcases artists' very own throwback-themed playlists exclusive to Billboard's Spotify account. The curated set features the artists' favorite tracks from their youth and childhood.

This week’s edition comes from Overcoats. The electronic folk-pop duo — comprised of Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell -- first debuted in 2017 via their striking breakthrough LP YOUNG, released via indie imprint Arts & Crafts (Broken Social Scene, Feist). The record peaked at No. 12 on Billboard's Heatseekers Chart, and has netted over 50 million streams and 30,000 in sales, according to the band. And after dates supporting Mitski, Tennis, Joseph, Rhye and others, the duo recently wrapped a trek supporting Two Door Cinema Club and are currently on the road with The Japanese House.

After inking a new deal with Loma Vista Recordings, the duo dropped the first taste of new music with a trio of singles — “Leave If You Wanna,” “Keep The Faith” and “The Fool” — set to appear on their forthcoming sophomore record. In the video for lead single “The Fool,” they shave their heads — a trust fall of sorts for the coming era. “We wrote it based on ‘The Fool’ tarot card,” says JJ. “It signifies taking a leap of faith and jumping into the unknown. Conceptually, it felt like the beginning of the project. We wiped the slate clean and decided to jump. We’re ‘The Fool,’ and we’re taking our leap.”

To celebrate their next album cycle, Overcoats curated this week’s #TBT Mixtape to highlight their shared sonic influences, including cuts by King Krule, The Staves, Citizen Cope, Dixie Chicks and Rihanna.

Give the playlist a spin and check out an exclusive track-by-track guide — as well as some throwback snaps of the pair from childhood -- below.

King Krule, “Border Line”

“We discovered King Krule while at Wesleyan and became immediately obsessed," says Hana. "King Krule was a huge influence for our first record. We were very inspired by the guitar sounds, and still are.”

Hiatus Kaiyote, “Nakamarra” (feat. Q-Tip)

“A very special song that came out when we were living together on campus at Wesleyan," says JJ. "The first lyric is ‘Hana, my darling….’”

The Staves, “Let Me Down”

“Their 2015 album, If I Was, came out around the time we were graduating college and was a go-to for us while we were living in Dublin, Ireland," says Hana. "We used to sing the harmonies together in the lobby of our apartment building in Temple Bar.”

Citizen Cope, “Son’s Gonna Rise”

“We both loved Citizen Cope when we were teenagers and went together to his concert in New Haven, CT, when we were 19," says JJ. "It was the first concert we ever went to together, and ended up having car trouble and got stranded at some Yale frat boys’ dorm until 3am."

Feist, “1234”

“First Feist song we ever heard, a staple of our teenage adolescence," says Hana. "It was on a mixed CD that JJ used to have on repeat in her parents’ car.”

Miriam Makeba, “Pata Pata”

“Turns out we each learned Eastern European folk dances to this song as tweens," says JJ. "Hana at summer camp, and me in the gym of my middle school. Great song though, also both of our mothers love this one.”

LCD Soundsystem, “Dance Yrself Clean”

“This song came out while we were in college and all the hipsters were freaking out on campus and blasting it really loudly at dorm parties," says Hana. "We were like, 'what is this?' Later it became one of our biggest influences and inspired much of our second album.”

Dixie Chicks, “Easy Silence”

“Another classic that we used to sing together in college. Dixie Chicks have been a huge influence for us," says Hana. "Their harmonies. The heart and soul in their songwriting. Who can resist? If loving this song makes us uncool, then we don’t wanna be cool.”

 Amy Winehouse, “You Know I’m No Good”

“We literally sang this song together in our first week of knowing each other," says Hana. "JJ has been obsessed with Amy Winehouse for a long time, and I really impressed her by revealing my favorite song was this one. We still pull this cover out at shows sometimes.”

Kings of Leon, “The Bucket”

“We’re really treating this list like a guilty pleasure playlist," says JJ. "Kings of Leon are that band that you always have to sing along to. Their early stuff is so punky and infectious. This song 'The Bucket' is no exception.”

Coldplay, “Fix You”

“We both loved Coldplay growing up," says JJ. "We went to go see their concert a few years ago and it was such an emotional experience. These lyrics were the soundtrack to our adolescence.”

Blondie, “The Tide is High”

“Whenever this song comes on, in a restaurant or a bathroom or gas station, we break out into song," says Hana. "Not sure where either of us first heard it but it’s cemented in our memories.” 

Madonna, “Nobody’s Perfect”

“Welp, this one is a jam," says JJ. "Madonna is a big influence to us and both of our first exposures to arty pop and a strong female artist growing up. Still worship her.”

Nirvana, “Come as You Are”

“One of the first songs Hana learned on guitar," says JJ. "This song was really helpful in those teenage angst years. Nirvana is still a huge influence for us.”

Hozier, “Cherry Wine”

“We immediately loved this song when we heard it. It connects us to our time that we lived in Dublin right after college," says Hana. "We did a cover of it. It has a really different meaning when sung by two friends.”

Rihanna, “Pon De Replay”

“Our go-to Karaoke song, very very terrible karaoke choice, impossible to sing," says JJ. "But Hana loves Rihanna more than life itself, so it has to be done.”

Sam Gellaitry, “LONG DISTANCE”

“We used to listen to this song every night before we went on stage when we were starting out," says Hana. "It gets you in the mood to perform.”

Billy Joel, “Vienna”

“This song makes us weep," says JJ. "It was hugely important to us as we were writing our first album, as it’s all about growing up.”

The Beatles, “Across The Universe”

“This may be obvious, but we love The Beatles," says Hana. "Who doesn’t? That is sane? We both loved this song growing up.” 

Gwen Stefani, “Hollaback Girl”

“We listened to this at middle school dances," says JJ. "Still a big fan of that clap sample.”

Fleetwood Mac, “Dreams”

“JJ was in a Fleetwood Mac cover band called Meatwood Flack," Hana says. "Need we say more?”

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