Hoops’ full-length debut, “Routines” is a bittersweet and honest record that sounds both warmly familiar and jarringly distinctive. Whereas their previous releases were recorded on four-track tape machines in living rooms and basements, “Routines” marks the band’s first sessions in an actual studio.
After a few months of touring, Hoops returned to Indiana to set up their gear in their parents’ basements and began experimenting with the studio-recorded tracks. Some songs they only tinkered with, others they scrapped completely and rebuilt from the ground up. They were determined to make a record that sounded like Hoops. The result is the sharpest and clearest delineation of the band’s sound thus far, drawing from and emphasizing each members’ distinctive influences and personal styles: four guys making music that is larger than themselves.
Hoops was born in frontman Drew Auscherman’s teenage bedroom as a solo ambient and beat-driven project. Auscherman named the band after the hoop houses at the nursery where he worked (not for his home state’s mania for basketball). Eventually he corralled a few of his friends to flesh out his songs (3 of the 4 members write and sing, each a frontman and a sideman simultaneously), and the music inevitably shifted toward something new: more melodic, more guitar-driven, more extroverted.
“Hoops is on an upwards slope. ‘Rules’ is an expressionist, blissed-out pop song. Airy, uptempo guitars float on the surface, accompanied by bouncy bass and complex drum work.”–TheFADER
“the irresistibly slick ‘Rules,’ which is loaded with the intoxicating guitar lines and murmured melodies we associate with this outfit. The single is a dizzying head rush that clocks in at just over two minutes and will surely have you pressing play several times in a sitting.”–PASTE
“Propelled by ample grooving keys and guitar, ‘Rules’ is a two minute jaunt into the past when synths and subdued vocals were king.”–Stereogum