They’ve only been around for about a year, but Whoop!, from North Carolina, have taken their fun jams and managed to put together an incredibly charming debut album. Comprising 9 tracks, the eponymous album is set for release on November 19, through Porcelain Records.
Whoop! is formed of Fal, on vocals, Nick, on bass, Will, on drums (he’d gone to school with Nick), and finally, Grammy-winning Canadian guitarist/producer Steve Bigas, who had been mentoring Nick in an audio engineering programme. There was already clear chemistry between the original three; yet with the addition of Bigas, they were able to become a fully formed group.
Fal’s vocals are unique yet recognisable; they’re strident and fun, while being ever so slightly disarming. There’s a lot of passion coming out of every word, as Fal explains,
“Whoop is a release of every emotion than can be, is, or was bottled up. It’s emotion manifested into one sonic symphony.”
The group come from a diverse range of backgrounds and musical influence, including indie, jazz, rock, reggae, and hip-hop, yet they are cohesive in that they allow the music to take over, to be the true inspiring force. There’s nothing over the top, nothing out of step. Fal continues,
“The theme [of the album] is simple. Post-relationship introspection.”
They started meeting together to jam on Friday nights, in Steve’s converted barn studio, in Raleigh. They took these fun, magical moments, and shaped them into finished songs.
“The boys would jam and pick ideas back and forth, while I would lug all my journals out of the woodwork,” Fal laughed. “In those moments, all I could rely on were the music, my words, and an open mind/heart.”
New single, ‘Cool’, at first takes you back to the 70s and 80s, where female vocalists spat out the lyrics with an almost venom-like passion. Fal’s sound instantly calls to mind that of Debbie Harry, Joan Jett, even Linda Ronstadt. It works perfectly against the jangling guitars, strident percussion, and airy backing vocals. You know that just as entertaining as we the listeners are finding it, the band themselves are having an absolute whale of a time – and the clapping at the end confirms it.