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Hoops - "Routines" | Album Review

By Allison Kridle

You can always count on Hoops to remove yourself far from reality, just as much as falling asleep, if not moreso. Waking life isn’t always full of plush sounds and a lush atmosphere, but Hoops takes you to this alternate universe where they’ve entrapped listener’s since 2015 when they posted their album Tape #2 on YouTube. It all started in frontman Drew Ausherman’s adolescent bedroom in suburban Indiana where he began songwriting and recording, but he eventually recruited some friends to add to his dream pop sound. Along with Ausherman on guitar and vocals, Hoops soon included Kevin Krauter (bass), Keagan Beresford (keys and guitar), and James Harris (drums).

Recently, Hoops added LP Routines to their world via Fat Possum Records. Pouring with even more melodic riffs and surfy chimes, Hoops kept their best sounds from their self-titled EP, Tape #2, and Tape #3, but seemed to have put in more vigor and advanced songwriting this time around. Right away Hoops relinquishes a catchy melody with jangly notes that sound as if they’re bouncing in a glass bottle in the first track “Sun’s Out.” Ausherman’s hazy vocals sing “Meet me in the sunlight/Meet me when the moon’s ripe/I can never be the one you want/ Somewhere in my future/I can’t seem to await there/I can never be the one you want.”

The entire album feels like a haze. Each song sounds like a continuation of the last--even though Hoops molds every track to be intrinsic in its purity. However, while the jangly melody from the track “Benjals,” won’t be able to leave your head space, the synthy keyboard and twinkling melody from “On Letting Go,” won’t escape you either. Lucky for you, you won’t want this album to pass you by anyway.