JJ Mitchell and Hana Elion are Overcoats. The duo’s authenticity to sound on and off stage is a true testament to how they’ve been in your headphones all this time. Their ability to mix pop with country and electronic. We discussed their trip to Austin so far, their relationship with the music industry, and of course, their songwriting process.
What has been y’alls favorite part of the festival so far?
I just love how chaotic it is. Yeah. It's really fun, like just kind of running around and seeing music and there's kind of just like an energy of excitement. And I think it's really beautiful and fun and like something you don't get to experience outside of a music festival. The people are just all psyched ot be here - I love the energy.
When you’re looking for the inspiration for your songs, where does that come from?
A bit of everything, really. Mostly one of our personal experiences and what we do and what our friends and I tell each other. We take the things in our live and try to take the negative things and turn then into cathartic songs.
Y’all have been a duo since college, how has your relationship with the industry changed and shaped you as artists?
Yeah, so it’s a constant learning process and you have to make a lot of mistakes along the way. I think we’re definitely more jaded than when we started, but it’s been useful because now we know not to give all of our power away and to just trust ourselves and our instincts.
Yeah, sometimes you have to learn the hard way. And we now are not going to work to make something sound cool or whatever. It’s going to be something that sounds true to us.
And the people who love you, will love you no matter what.
Exactly. Like if you don't like our music, it’s not for you. It’s been a learning process and the industry is such a wild place.
Especially at SXSW. You’re truly in the thick of it.
Yes!! Like some of these shows you can look around and tell who is in the industry.
Ahaha! YES! We said exactly this.
Yeah, now I think we just go up on stage and do our thing. Which is so different than when we first startd playing. I remember thinking “Our future is in their hands.” But the truth is, our future is in our hands.
Is there a specific song that you’re particularly proud of that you've created? Past or present?
Oh my god I love that one.
Yeah, with that one, I think we really let our roots come through. We grew up listening to The Chicks, Simon and Garfunkel and both of those groups are harmony driven and for us, this song does just that. Also, the version you hear is basically the demo version. We wrote it, recorded it and were like we are never going to be able to beat how authentic this sounds. We added a few bits and bobs but those vocals are in their original form.
Listen to their new album "Winner" and catch them on tour here.
"At 15 years old, I begged my mom to take me to Walmart to get Taylor Swift's debut deluxe album and I never turned back. This was my very first entry point to stan fandom. Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee I was exposed to a ton of music - from rapping 3 6 Mafia to bopping to Justin Timberlake's solo discography. Now, in LA have a day job working in nonprofit development, but by night, I'm a full-fledged fangirl. I'll listen to generally any genre, but I'm a sucker for a good pop song. If you ever need someone to scream sing Carly Rae Jepsen's E·MO·TION with, I'm your girl. No, I still have not gotten over the One Direction hiatus. Please continue to respect my privacy. Twitter : samfonggg, Instagram : samantha_fong"