Wednesday, June 09, 2021

MEET… Hot Mulligan

Hot Mulligan are an up- and-coming pop punk band from Lansing, Michigan. The band create upbeat songs which are contrasted with hard hitting, and often melancholic, vocals which describe how the band navigate through life and deal with heartache and struggle.  Much like other bands in the scene, like Tiny Moving Parts and Modern Baseball, they masterfully mix cheery guitar riffs with dark lyrics it lets them stand amongst some of the best pop punk bands.

Hot Mulligan aren’t afraid to be quirky and have fun with the music they make; their song titles are a great example of how the band stand out since two of their most played songs are titled ‘*Equip Sunglasses*’ and ‘I Fell In Love With Princess Peach’. In 2015, the band released two EPs, ‘Fenton’ and ‘Honest and Cunning’, followed by ‘Split’ in 2016 before signing to No Sleep Records in 2017.  The five-piece went on to re-release their EP, ‘Opportunities’ in the same year.


However, it wasn’t until the release of their debut album, ‘Pilot’, that the band really began to gain traction in the emo revival and pop punk scene. This album broke boundaries which hadn’t been seen in the alternative community before and it remains a timeless and refreshing album to this day.


‘Pilot’ demonstrates the musical and lyrical capabilities of Hot Mulligan and is such a strong first album. It really proved Hot Mulligan aren’t afraid to try new sounds and refine their style. ‘Pluto Was Never Really a Planet Either Even’ is one of the best songs off this album lyrically. The stripped back guitar paired with the raw emotion in the singer, Nathan Sanville’s, vocals make for a really emotional and heart-tugging listen. Lyrically, this song explores a further vulnerability of the band that listeners had yet to see: “But this isn’t me, it’s my final critique / Of my bones, of my skin of the hate killing me.”


The song ‘How Do You Know It’s Not Armadillo Shells?’ explores the vocalists belief that he feels like he doesn’t belong and his constant struggle with his mental health whilst those surrounding him appear to be coping fine. The lyrics are paired with upbeat guitar riffs which progressively turns more aggressive as the vocalist shouts the lyrics to match his intense feelings. The music video follows the story sung in the song’s lyrics as it depicts the vocalist alone with his thoughts as he becomes more and more desperate to get better. A black screen flashes up intermittently with sentences such as ‘I can’t remember simple things’ and ‘Something is wrong with me’; for this reason it is one of the most emotionally hard hitting music videos and further enhances the lyrics of the song.


‘How Do You Know It’s Not Armadillo Shells?’ music video:


Following the success of ‘Pilot’, the band released their sophomore album, ‘you’ll be fine’, in 2020. The intro track to the album, OG Blue Sky, might be my favourite song off this record. It sets a punchy, yet happy start to the album which is matched with rhythmic guitar riffs and shouty vocals. The lyrics to ‘BCKYRD’ further express how well the band embody an emo style within the pop punk and manage to contrast dark lyrics with uplifting guitar riffs and instrumentals; “Barely leaving a semblance of what we thought it meant to grow up / When things don’t get better / No, things don’t better, just different.” Overall, this album is definitely one of my favourite releases of last year and I think Hot Mulligan’s combination of emo and pop punk has really allowed them to create such a refreshing sound within the scene.


Zoe Wheeler  


Image: 82877062_2745873695455881_8876413884215328768_o.jpg (1638×1638) (

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