Thursday, May 06, 2021

Talking with Baseball Hat

Baseball Hat, a new presence in the world of music, is already making a splash with their singles LMK and UP all Night. The Washington DC talented musicians, producers, actors, and even podcasters dazzle you with their smooth and groovy melodies accompanied by a psychedelic sonorities twist.

After running with the collective Mindsugar666 , BH came together as a band and with just a few guitars, an OP-1 and a mic, to create hypnotic and ear-grabbing tunes. 

As artists full of talent, Harrison Smith and John Sygar releases showcase phenomenal chill indie-rock melodies and infectious bedroom pop. 

LMK, the American duo's newest release, is full of promises and good vibes. Even though it is a sound produced in the lockdown, the sonorous chorus, sexy melody and summer atmosphere, brings you back to normalcy. As you get entangled by the guitar-driven tunes a loaf of fresh Indie Rock and psychedelic elements keep you wide awake. 

Tell us about 'Baseball Hat' - how did you guys come together?

The two of us met in college and hit it off immediately over our shared love of The Smiths and Cocteau Twins. Over the next few years life sort of took us in different directions, but in 2019-both of us had pretty long term relationships end within like a month of each other and through the weird ways the universe works we were brought back together. As far as the music and band itself, technically it started in probably like November 2019 in John’s parent’s basement when we were messing around with his OP-1 synth and a guitar. 

How come you guys decided to start a podcast? Has this had any influence on the music you produce?

Both of us were pretty much full time stage actors prior to the COVID pandemic with dreams of always eventually stepping into some kind of multimedia space. When the industry shut down, those plans got a bit accelerated. We started an arts collective last May called mindsugar with our collaborator Kait Moller who is a dope artist, podcast host, poet, and Harrison’s partner. We started streaming on Twitch doing album release parties for records we were excited about which then morphed into longer live streams commenting on current events, culture, and politics. Those commentary streams then became our podcast SUPER MIND EXPLODER. In the past few months, we have been restructuring mindsugar a bit and unfortunately SUPER MIND EXPLODER is no longer, but each week the network still produces three other shows: Spooky Show, good to see you, and The CaroDubb Power Hour. Follow @mindsugaronline for all the new exciting things we have coming with that.

Has covid-19 and lockdown affected your production of music in any way? How have you had to adapt?

It was almost certainly the catalyst for the music we had becoming physicalized. For the better part of a year baseball hat was just a series of voice memos with odds and ends until we suddenly had this new time and were sort of forced to evaluate what our new priorities would be in the new world and for both of us, music was immediately at the top of the list. 

In terms of adapting, we are weirdly blessed to only ever have known being a bedroom act essentially. Every song we have ever written is done with the two of us in John’s bedroom on his 2011 MacBook with a few guitars, an OP-1, a mini synth, and then a mic. After the two of us get to a place we are pleased, we send it off to our engineer Joe Shirey-who really in a lot of ways the third member of baseball hat. 

You've cited influences such as Tame Impala and Beach boys - are there any particular aspects of their music that intrigue you?

We always joke that we are a grooves and feels band. I think we are both really drawn to just how brilliantly and immediately both those acts are able to create these sort of epics, but done with limited resources. We are both definitely drawn to their musical aesthetics that ability to use these dreamy soundscapes that in the hands of lesser musicians might just be a wash, but in both cases here is used to hit feeling with laser accuracy. That is something we as a group are always striving for.

What's the story behind your single LMK?

Obviously the song starts with a clear pandemic reference, but it’s not a pandemic song. It’s a song to us about how the mundane aspects of our day to day especially in this time can often smash head on with these big challenging emotional conflicts within our relationships.

Tell us about any projects you have in the works!

Well first, we have a new song out now called UP ALL NIGHT which a part of this group of singles we are writing just for the summer and we are in the final stages of putting together our debut album, which will be announced later in the Summer and should be pretty different than the summer stuff.

When he’s not with baseball hat, John works on his solo project Jsyg. His debut EP “Do Disturb” is available everywhere now. His music takes textures from a vast background of sounds to create an intimate one of a kind experience.

Harrison released a podcast every week called good to see you which features long form conversations about art, love, and the universe. New episodes every Wednesday. Available on all podcast apps.

Is there anything you have that you're particularly excited for your fans to hear?


What would you say is the most significant moment you've had as a band so far?

It was absolutely putting the final touches on our song “Chemicals” which will be on the album. It was the first song we ever wrote together and it was overwhelming to listen to our final pass at it knowing the place where we were when we started it.

What's your biggest goal as a band?

Despite our great musical history as a country of exporting talent, American bands has been one of the biggest areas we are lacking. We just want to be in the conversation.

Any messages for your fans?

Thanks for listening. Stay tuned. Follow us @baseballhatusa on twitter and instagram and follow us on Spotify! 

Joana Alarcao
Image: Official LMK Single artwork

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