Bloomington, Indiana indie rock outfit Hoops appeared seemingly out of nowhere in late 2015, when their Tape #2 was uploaded to YouTube and immediately made its way onto music hype blogs, where it was showered with praise. Their lo-fi sound, reminiscent of '80s college rock, dream pop, shoegaze, and yacht rock, and shrouded in tape murk, displayed a remarkable songwriting prowess, summery and with bright, catchy melodies. Largely eschewing both traditional promotional methods and social media, the members of the relatively anonymous outfit were content to let their music speak for itself. Eventually, some information about the band did begin to leak out: Hoops had formed in 2011 as the solo ambient/noise project of vocalist Drew Auscherman, but expanded in 2014 into a full band with the addition of guitarist Keagan Beresford, bassist Kevin Krauter, and drummer James Allen. Heavily influenced by British acts Prefab Sprout and the Clientele, their sound also drew comparisons to contemporaries like DIIV, Ariel Pink, and Real Estate. Two more tapes swiftly followed the first, increasing the quartet's currency. They signed to Fat Possum for the mid-2016 release of their eponymous debut EP proper, and their initial tapes were also made available digitally. Without Allen or an official replacement, they went to work on their full-length debut, which was recorded partly in their first studio sessions and partly in Krauter's parents' Indiana basement by the band and Woods' Jarvis Taveniere. Titled Routines, it arrived in May 2017. The album made an appearance on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart, and Fat Possum issued the catch-up compilation Tapes #1-3 that November. ~ John D. Buchanan

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