Bandcamp Picks

Bandcamp Pick of the Week 4/19/2024


It’s our Bandcamp Pick of the Week, featuring Hot Joy’s aimlessness slacker rock debut SMALL FAVOR! 

Hot Joy Small Favor cover


Genre: Slacker Rock, Power Pop

Favorite Tracks: “Fingers On My Side,” “Head Out of the Window,” “Scared of Everyone”

Just in time for summer, St. Louis rockers Hot Joy are releasing their debut EP, SMALL FAVOR. Boasting six bouncy-but-apathetic slacker anthems, fans of turned up power pop will have a blast using these tunes to soundtrack errands. Establishing themselves in the same milieu as fellow Midwestern indie rockers Liquid Mike, Ratboys, and Slow Pulp alike, Hot Joy specialize in anthems for the mundane.

The impetus for the project comes from the same aimlessness and unease detailed across each track. After fronting local indie-punkers Choir Vandals for over a decade (in addition to serving as a fill-in guitarist for both Foxing and Squint) Austin McCutchen wanted to shake up his songwriting process and bring in outside collaborators. McCutchin recruited longtime friend Curt Oschner on guitar, Squint’s Will MCarthy on drums, and Nicole Bonura (who fronts the solo project Nicole Grace) on bass and co-lead vocals. Bolstered by the full band approach to songwriting, SMALL FAVOR crackles with the excitement and eureka moments inherent to any fresh start or clean break.

The Breeders-esque opening track “Fingers on My Side” features Bonura on lead vocals, and details a supermarket trip as the most anxiety-inducing experience imaginable while also a fertile ground for new opportunity. The band’s sense of fun in this new amped-up approach to his material is palpable. The vocal interplay between Bonura and McCutchen permeates the EP, with a tried-and-true dynamic featuring Bonura’s cheeky lilt balanced out by McCutchen’s quirky affected monotone. Fans of fellow Midwesterner Stef Chura’s collaborations with Will Toledo will find a lot to love. The songs also clip by at a brisk pace, never daring to stretch beyond three minutes, and barely lasting longer than 15 minutes as a package. If you’re shopping for crunchy, ennui-laden power pop to soundtrack your next onset panic attack, you could do a lot worse than SMALL FAVOR. Keep Hot Joy on your radar for when being cool & sad is the vibe. Check it out on Bandcamp

Luke Phillips
Luke Phillips is a radio promoter currently living in Los Angeles. His go-to karaoke song is "A Little Respect" by Erasure. You can usually find him going to local pro wrestling shows, playing Dungeons & Dragons, at the movies, or some twisted combination of the three.

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