Friday, May 23, 2014

Free Friday: Joe Tripp and the Hops - "6 Songs" EP

The Chicago-based band Joe Tripp and the Hops recently released their new EP entitled, 6 Songs.  The new EP - the follow-up to their highly-praised and aptly-titled 2011 debut album, Won’t It Be Fun - is available as a pay-what-you-want digital download via the band’s Bandcamp page.  Led by vocalist/guitarist Joe Tripp and drummer/vocalist T. J. Walker they create an experimental brand of indie pop and nostalgia-inducing alternative rock that blends super-catchy Weezer-like melodies and hints of jazz, funk and Counting Crows-like folk then filters it through a jam-band’s mentality for an engaging and unique sound all their own.    
The EP opens with “There’s Something”, a nice slice of danceable dream-pop with flickering funk-laced guitars and layers of swirling vocal harmonies.  Tripp succeeds in setting sincere and emotionally-charged lyrical themes of love and loss to infectious and upbeat melodies for a nice contrast.  Standout track “Signs” incorporates a strutting bass line and a thick wall of pounding vintage organ that is offset by colorful New Wave-esque synth squiggles, distorted vocals and a catchy, sing-along chorus.  “Fantasma” features a bouncy rhythm of chugging guitars and some melodic classic rock soloing before the swaying and soulful ballad “Heart Cries Out” offers a welcome change of pace.  Next, the laid-back lounge-worthy “Let Go” showcases the band’s versatility with cascading guitars and uplifting lines like, “Let go, don’t be afraid of life, changes will come you know”.  “Who Knows” closes out the 6 Songs EP with its acoustic guitar churn, backwards-looping guitars and earnest melodies that are just begging to be placed in a movie soundtrack. 
After issuing their impressive yet slightly under the radar debut in 2011, Joe Tripp and the Hops have returned with an even stronger set of songs with their new EP, 6 Songs that should gain them the attention they deserve.       

Download 6 Songs here:

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