Bad Bad Hats

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Bad Bad Hats
Bad Bad Hats performing at The Saint in Asbury Park, NJ, May 2019.
Bad Bad Hats performing at The Saint in Asbury Park, NJ, May 2019.
Background information
OriginMinneapolis, Minnesota, United States
GenresIndie Music, pop punk, Folk rock, Folk
LabelsAfternoon Records

Bad Bad Hats is an American indie pop band from Minneapolis, Minnesota.[1] The band has received positive reviews from Rolling Stone Magazine and performed at the South by Southwest Music Festival (SXSW). The band has toured with Margaret Glaspy, Hippo Campus, Third Eye Blind, The Front Bottoms, and others.[2]

Bad Bad Hats band members include Kerry Alexander, Chris Hoge, and Connor Davison.[2] Their music has been described as indie, pop-punk, folk, classic pop, influences by "90s rock simplicity and pop-punk frivolity." Alexander’s lyrics are relatable, sincere, subtle, honest, unpredictable, and powerful.[2]


Kerry Alexander and Chris Hoge started Bad Bad Hats when they were students at Macalester College in St. Paul. They had been listening to each others' music on Myspace.” Alexander had been performing her "scrappy folk originals" and acoustic covers of punk music on campus.[3] They initially joined forces to perform a duet. Once Alexander heard Hoge playing drums, she wanted to start a band.[3] Eventually Noah Boswell joined them on bass. The trio then started performing around the Twin Cities and developing their sound. Boswell is slated to leave the band to attend graduate school, but the band plans to continue to tour.[3]

Reviews from outlets like Rolling Stone Magazine have been more positive than local news outlets like the News Tribune. Bad Bad Hats describe their style has been described as "indie rock," but have been described as likely to "break into Sixpence None the Richer's "Kiss Me" at any moment" and going well with a latte at Starbucks.[4] Their songs are described as expertly produced, with hooks and intriguing turns. Their sound is very pleasing, but some critics have called for more message, urgency, and purpose.[4]

In the early days, the band alternated between acoustic and revved-up, garage-leaning rock.[3] The band began by releasing lo-fi demos via Bandcamp. These included kazoo solos, revised Shania Twain verses, and the indie-pop track Super America.[4] In 2013 they released their debut EP, It Hurts.[3] Bad Bad Hats first LP, Psychic Reader, was released in 2015 on Afternoon Records.[5][6] Psychic Reader received positive reviews and resulted in more high-profile opening gigs (e.g., Third Eye Blind, Margaret Glaspy).[3] Critics said that Psychic Reader had the same "unconventional structure and sticky melody" as found in Super America, but that the band's music had become richer, more varied, and more multidimensional.[7] In 2018, Bad Bad Hats released their second full-length album titled Lightning Round on Afternoon Records.[3][1] It and Psychic Reader were both produced by Brett Bullion, who helped develop the music's loose, organic feel.[2] Lightning Round reflects the same blend of indie-pop, folk, and rock, but is even more refined and polished than Psychic Reader.[3] This more recent work has a "mid-tempo groove," and a richly-produced synth-pop sound reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk.[3]

Band Members[edit]

Kerry Alexander
Chris Hoge
Connor Davison


  1. ^ a b Colburn, Randall. "Bad Bad Hats announce sophomore album, Lightning Round, share "Write It On Your Heart": Stream". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Staff (2018). "SXSW". SXSW. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bernstein, Jonathan (2018). "Bad Bad Hats' Upside-Down Pop Hits". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Bennett, Tony (2018). "Bad Bad Hats are two of those things". News Tribune. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  5. ^ Weatherby, Lea. "Exclusive Album Stream: 'Psychic Reader,' Bad Bad Hats". Interview. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  6. ^ Courneen, Trevor. "Bad Bad Hats: Psychic Reader Review". Paste. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  7. ^ Duncan, Tess (2015). "Bad Bad Hats Psychic Reader". Pitchfork. Retrieved 15 May 2019.