New York’s HOKO have shared a trio of stunning compositions for the latest instalment of Rolling Stone’s ‘In My Room’, a series in which artists perform from home following a year which has seen live shows become a rarity.
The last year has seen waves upon waves of well-deserved attention being heaped upon HOKO. Having shared numerous singles over the past year, the group’s profile has been continuously rising, with their songs scoring major sync deals in the US, and even finding a rapidly-growing fanbase in Australia.
Just last week, HOKO released their debut EP, HEATHEN, a product of almost two years of continuous work spanning New York and Los Angeles. Working with Grammy-nominated producer John Hill (Santigold, Cage The Elephant) and Andrew Wells (Halsey, Kaiser Chiefs), the EP is a stunning showcase of a band who are likely set to be household names in no time.
“HEATHEN is the first half of a project we’ve spent almost two years conceptualising,” explained Nathaniel Hoho. “Our aim was to create a body of work that sounded big, but was also sonically interesting, with songs that are accessible, but also have layers and complexity.
“All of my favourite albums give me something new every time I hear them, so that’s always something in the back of mind when finishing a song. Visually we wanted to pay homage to the artistic direction of artists like David Bowie & Queen who created beautiful images that stand on their own as art, not only as an accompaniment to the music.”
To celebrate its recent release, HOKO were kind enough to donate their time for a brief set of their tracks for our ‘In My Room’ series.
With Mike Irish on production, Hoho kicks off the set with “Big Mistake”, a track that perfectly helps to encapsulate the HOKO sound, with in this case features Hoho’s Weeknd-esque voice, and luscious, subtle backing instrumentation that mix ambient soundscapes with electronic melodies.
“I feel like most songs come to you and write themselves through you, but I’m pretty sure ‘Big Mistake’ is a song about some of my exes,” Hoho says of the track. “It’s a pop song with sitars and yoyos weaved through it; it’s a perfect example of the line we wanted to walk for HOKO. Exploring pop but keeping it unique and a little cynical.”
As the set continues, HOKO run through EP closer “Starlite”, before wrapping thing sup with the upbeat “Hellogoodbye”, showcasing their versatility and musicianship in an almost effortless manner.
Check out HOKO’s performance in the player above, or by heading over to Rolling Stone Australia’s Instagram page. In the meantime, their HEATHEN EP was officially released in March.