The Overcoats – Hana Elion & JJ Mitchell

by Alex Teitz
            The Overcoats are a NY based electro-pop band with rock overtones and memorable harmonies. They are Hana Elion & JJ Mitchell. In 2015 they released an EP, and in 2017 they released their debut album, Young. “I Don’t Believe in Us” is one of the singles from the album

            FEMMUSIC was honored to have an e-mail interview with The Overcoats. Since neither woman specified whom was answering the question, we assume both and are listing all answers as The Overcoats. The Overcoats will be on the main stage at the Underground Music Showcase in Denver this weekend. For info visit &
FEMMUSIC:  What was the biggest challenge making Young?
O: I think the biggest challenge for us was really crafting the sound. We knew in our heads what we wanted it to sound like, but since it was our first album, it was our first attempt trying to turn that sound into a reality. It took a lot of trial and error, and experimentation, figuring out what we liked and didn’t like.
FEMMUSIC:  Tell me about Nicholas Verhas & Autre Ne Veut. How were they to work with? How did you meet them? Why did decide to have them produce the album?
O: Nicolas and Arthur (Autre Ne Veut) were wonderful to work with. They are both so talented, and come from really different production backgrounds. Nicolas had done some of our favorite rock records, whereas Arthur was more versed in electronics. We wanted to combine both of their aesthetics into something that was both folky and electronic at the same time — that’s why we wanted them both!
FEMMUSIC:  How was your approach different doing Young vs your EP? What did you learn making the album?
O: Our EP did not have much of an approach! It was the first 4 songs we had ever written. However, limitation definitely breeds creativity – and not being able to have tons of players, crazy production, etc definitely made us be really intentional about our style and the sounds we chose. The album was different — being in a real studio, with tons and tons of instruments and sounds at your disposal — it was way harder to narrow down!
FEMMUSIC:  You’re signed to Arts & Crafts. Why did you sign with them? How are they to work with?
O: Arts & Crafts are such lovely human beings. We grew up listening to Feist and Broken Social Scene, so having them in the Arts & Crafts family was very inspiring.
FEMMUSIC:  Can you describe your songwriting technique?
O: We like to sit down and talk to one another about an idea, lyric, feeling, experience, and start writing from there. The first step is to get on the same page and empathize with each other so we can both attempt to write honestly and in a way that helps heal.
FEMMUSIC:  What song (not your own) has had the biggest influence on you and why?
O: “The Scientist” by Coldplay is probably one of the most inspiring songs to us these days. We simply cannot get over how vague the lyrics are but how the song evokes such a particular feeling.
FEMMUSIC:  As women in the music industry have you been discriminated against?
O: Yes. It happens in overt ways as well as very subtle ingrained ways. Whether it’s not getting booked for festivals (most festival lineups contain under 25% female artists), or the way we’re spoken to or the way our art is treated…
FEMMUSIC:  Whom would you most like to collaborate with, or tour with? Why?
O: We want to tour with Coldplay! Stadium tour…YES PLEASE. We want to collaborate with Feist. She’s just one of the most unique and talented artists we’ve ever heard. She was/is a big influence for us and to be able to work with her and share creative ideas would be a dream come true.
FEMMUSIC:  What one thing would you like to change about the music industry?
O: Would love more female producers. Which means creating a space where women are invited to, and feel comfortable, learning about music production.

Photo by Gaby Alvarez

July 23rd, 2018