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Bad Bad Hats

Date

September 19, 2024

Time

8:00 pm

Location

The Aquarium
226 Broadway, Fargo, ND

Cost

$17.00

*Day of show & door pricing may increase.

  • Doors: 7:00 pm
  • Audience: Ages 21+
  • Seating: General Admission

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About

The Minneapolis, Minnesota duo Bad Bad Hats are named after a little-known song from “Madeline,” a beloved children’s book series about a mischievous young girl and her yellow-clad classmates. Founded by singer/songwriter Kerry Alexander and guitarist Chris Hoge, the band traffics in similarly playful concepts and warm scenes of youth. Bad Bad Hats are celebrated for crispy, lived-in melodies, big choruses that stick for days, and an easy musicianship that carries across their eclectic, wide-ranging releases.

The band’s lead singer Kerry Alexander grew up between Tampa, Florida and Birmingham, Alabama. As a child, she was a student of the glossy MTV pop that defined the early 2000s, as well as the David Bowie and Tom Petty CDs her parents would play while making dinner. Singer songwriters like Alanis Morissette, Kim Deal, and later, Michelle Branch, were an early inspiration for Kerry: after discovering songwriting as a profession while watching American Idol, the young teenaged Kerry began filling binders with songs, planning to one day write hit records for stars.

As her confidence grew, Kerry began testing her performance chops at open mic nights, and eventually began sharing demos on Myspace, where she first connected with Chris Hoge, a savvy guitarist and classmate at the small liberal arts school Macalester College. The pair’s chemistry was undeniable, sharing common tastes in songwriting and sound, and they flourished creatively–and, soon, as a couple. They refined demos together and gigged around the Twin Cities, where they received consistently strong responses from friends who’d come to their shows. Soon, Kerry and Chris were assembling their first EP, “It Hurts,” and catching the ear of local indie labels. After fleshing out the line up with bassist Noah Boswell, Bad Bad Hats was officially born.

“Psychic Reader,” BBH’s debut LP, arrived in 2015. Led by the ebullient single “Midway,” the album highlighted the band’s cinematic sound, punchy rhythm sections, and Kerry’s heart-aching vocals. With “Psychic Reader,” the band expanded their audience beyond local Twin Cities venues, as their music spread organically via college radio and shared links. New fans seemed to discover the music daily, their growth coincided with a renaissance in young bedroom musicians via streaming through the 2010s. With their follow up full length albums “Lightning Round” (2018) and “Walkman” (2021), Bad Bad Hats expanded their sound and look, with hilariously DIY music videos that cast the band as ice hockey players, Elvis impersonators, secret agents and more. In the years since their initial noodling around St. Paul, Bad Bad Hats have toured globally with peers like The Beths and Hippo Campus, and storied acts like The Front Bottoms and the aforementioned Michelle Branch, who picked them up for her 2022 headlining world tour. It was a full-circle moment for Kerry, one that she made clear on stage at each show.

Last January, Kerry, Chris, and longtime bandmate Con Davison cozied up under frigid winter in Chris and Kerry’s Twin Cities home, writing and recording their latest, self-titled LP. Each day for two weeks, Kerry would make sandwiches for lunch (tuna salad on Tuesdays), and the crew would get to work in the basement home studio, stacked to the brim with gear. The group recorded more quickly than usual, and even incorporated a few songwriting prompts sent in directly from their fans as jumping-off points. Where BBH are typically known for big song topics like love and heartache, Kerry took to smaller ideas this go round—included are songs inspired by parking tickets, scorching Tampa grocery store lots she remembered from her youth, and other autobiographical scenes woven into dance floor-ready numbers.

Today, Bad Bad Hats are back to their founding duo, and their upcoming record is the band’s first time self-producing, with a freewheeling, pristine tone and several unexpectedly funky turns. The new album suggests a band still having deep fun creating and playing, inviting listeners new and old to live life to their heartfelt tunes. “Bad Bad Hats” will be available on April 12th, 2024 via Don Giovanni Records.