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Bloomington, Indiana indie rock outfit Hoops appeared seemingly out of nowhere in late 2015, when their Tape #2 was uploaded to YouTube and immediately made its way onto music hype blogs, where it was showered with praise. Their lo-fi sound, reminiscent of '80s college rock, dream pop, shoegaze, and yacht rock, and shrouded in tape murk, displayed a remarkable songwriting prowess, summery and with bright, catchy melodies. Largely eschewing both traditional promotional methods and social media, the members of the relatively anonymous outfit were content to let their music speak for itself. Eventually, some information about the band did begin to leak out: Hoops had formed in 2011 as the solo ambient/noise project of vocalist Drew Auscherman, but expanded in 2014 into a full band with the addition of guitarist Keagan Beresford, bassist Kevin Krauter, and drummer James Harris. Heavily influenced by British acts Prefab Sprout and the Clientele, their sound also drew comparisons to contemporaries like DIIV, Ariel Pink, and Real Estate. Two more tapes swiftly followed the first, increasing the quartet's currency. They signed to Fat Possum for the mid-2016 release of their eponymous debut EP proper, and their initial tapes were also made available digitally. They soon went to work on their full-length debut, which was recorded partly in their first studio sessions and partly in Krauter's parents' Indiana basement by the band and Woods' Jarvis Taveniere. Titled Routines, it arrived in May 2017 by which time Harris was no longer with the band. The album made an appearance on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart, and Fat Possum issued the catch-up compilation Tapes #1-3 that November. The band went on hiatus in 2018 and returned over a year later with a single in late 2019 titled "They Say." The group recorded an album that Fat Possum planned to release in August of 2020; instead, the album was withdrawn and the band broke up the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct leveled at former member Harris, which took place while he was their drummer.
© John D. Buchanan /TiVo


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