07.14.13 — “Ken” by Ex Cops

Ex Cops

If you only listen to one song today, make it “Ken” by Ex Cops (2013, from the album True Hallucinations).

Ex Cops is a noise-pop/indie pop five-piece band from Brooklyn. They were founded in 2011 and released their first album True Hallucinations in 2013 on Other Music Recording Co.

Until the lineup of bands for the 2013 Hopscotch Music Festival was announced a couple of weeks ago, I had never heard of Ex Cops. This is one of my favorite parts of Hopscotch. Doing the research and whittling the list of 175 bands down to about 40 or so that I’d like to see. Then whittling that long list into a more realistic short list of 20 or so. And hoping that I’ll get to see 15 of them. Sometimes, there’ll be three bands I’d really like to see playing in different venues at the same time on the same night. Sometimes, it’s easy to bounce from one venue to the other. Sometimes, it’s a little harder. Most of the 15 venues are packed into a tight nine square block area, making Hopscotch much more “bounce around” friendly than the bigger festivals like SXSW or CMJ.

Brian Harding and Amalie Bruun were playing in separate Brooklyn bands when they met backstage at a concert. They started working together, and a few months later they released a single. That “You Are a Lion, I Am a Lamb” single was the first thing ever released by Other Music, which is a label that was born out of a record shop. The label isn’t exactly an imprint of Fat Possum Records, but they’re related in some way.

This year, the duo blossomed into a full five-piece band, and they released their debut. I haven’t heard every song on the album, but the ones that I’ve heard are either noise-pop oriented or they sound like some coastal New Jersey-by-way-of-Manchester band might sound. I don’t even know what that means, but the Ex Cops song “Separator” (see the video here) sounds like the latter to me.

Tonight’s song is from that other category. The noise-poppy one.
“Ken” by Ex Cops

The first 26 seconds are absolutely glorious. The quick cadence of the drums. The chiming guitars. The angelic “Oooooooh ooooooooh ooooooooh” stuff from Amalie. It’s so crazily reminiscent of any song from the insanely brilliant album Blonder Tongue Audio Baton by Swirlies.

As a whole, it’s a little bit hazy, a little bit fuzzy, a tiny bit psychedelic. And just a ton of pop fun. The song clocks in at just under three breathless minutes long, and it leaves me reaching for the “repeat” button. Again. And again.

If you’re going to Hopscotch, you’ll be able to catch Ex Cops at Pour House on Friday night September 6 at 11:30pm. See the rest of the Friday schedule here. Tickets for the three night, two day festival are still available. Check here for your ticket options.

You can buy True Hallucinations directly from Other Music here.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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