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Album of the Week: Bad Bad Hats' self-titled album

Flowers with white petals and yellow centers.
Minnesota indie rock band Bad Bad Hats released their latest self-titled album on April 12, 2024.

Bad Bad Hats' new self-titled album is KAXE's Album of the Week for April 15-21, 2024.

On their latest album, Bad Bad Hats expand their palette without losing their trademark sound.

2021's Walkman was recorded with minimal studio tricks. Many of the songs were recorded live with the full band, similar to how they were played in concert.

For the new self-titled release, the group set out to not limit themselves in the studio. Throughout the album's 10 songs, you hear samples, loops and synths added to their catchy guitar-forward pop-rock sound.

One of the biggest departures from their traditional sound is the moody synth-pop of "Back To My Body." The synth bassline and faint acoustic guitar are a perfect backdrop for Kerry Alexander's lyrics about dissociative feelings.

Kerry Alexander and Chris Hoge of Bad Bad Hats. Alexander is looking at the camera with her head rested on her fist. She has curly blonde hair. Hoge is looking across the camera.  He has short brown hair.
Zoe Prinds-Flash Photography
Kerry Alexander and Chris Hoge of Bad Bad Hats.

In contrast, "TPA" is a funky dance-pop song that overflows with self-confidence. Built around two interlocking guitar lines, a simple bass riff and a repeated chorus of "Ooh, I'm on fire," it's a great example of how simple can be catchy.

The new album began with a pandemic project of choosing a different style to write songs in each month. These experiments in different genres encouraged the band to pursue new directions on Bad Bad Hats.

Must listens

  • "Let Me In"
  • "TPA"
  • "Bored In The Summer"
  • "Back To My Body"
  • "The New Stuff"
  • "Lay Low"
  • "My Heart Your Heart"

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Malachy started his radio career at a college radio station, where he played weird music in the middle of the night to possibly no one. On a good night maybe his parents were listening. Nonetheless, he was hooked on public radio and is still doing it today. He joined Northern Community Radio in 2022, where he gets to share his passion for local music as Producer of Centerstage Minnesota, an all Minnesota music show airing Fridays at 2pm.