More often than not, a musician’s identity is mapped out in their discography. If you hit shuffle on any given artist’s collection of albums, the sound you hear — whether it be from their first-ever record or their fifth — is pretty much what you can expect.
But if you hit shuffle on Bad Bad Hats, you’ll find yourself making sure you’re still listening to the same band.
“It’s very hard for us to focus on one sound,” said front woman Kerry Alexander. “I’m so inspired by so many things and I think our sound has become a hodgepodge of various influences. It’s interesting in that way.”
Formed in 2012, Bad Bad Hats has its sonic roots in pop tropes and indie music song structures.
Fate and coincidence brought the members of Bad Bad Hats together. Alexander, bassist Chris Hoge and former drummer Noah Boswell found the music scene in the Twin Cities to be the right place for them.
“Once we were all here, it kind of made sense to stay,” Alexander said. “We just kept feeling like we were kind of growing something in the Cities. It was a great place to start out as a new band and get better and practice.”
Boswell left the group to pursue a graduate degree after the release of their sophomore album, “Lightning Round,” in August 2018. Drummer Connor Davison, a long-time fan of the band, joined in his place.
With a new member came a new source of influence. Alexander’s love of pop, partnered with Hoge’s background in the indie rock scene, paired easily with Davison’s background in orchestral music.
“It's always just been about curious songwriting,” Hoge said.
Playing with the balance of each genre has produced a dynamic discography that makes the listening experience an active one. It would be hard to tune out the music as background noise.
“The three of us love that we're able to try different stuff,” Davison said. “We don't have to do one formula each time. We kind of go about making the song as best as possible, depending on what it needs.”
This was apparent when they began writing for their next album. One of the songs took mere hours to write, according to Davison.
“When we demoed it together, it happened so beautifully,” Davison said. “It’s kind of like magic when that sort of thing happens, when the song just sort of manifests itself so quickly.”
They’ve also adopted a new recording method this time around. Instead of doing separate takes for each instrument, they have opted to play together until they reach the winning take.
“It's a little bit higher pressure when you're trying to get the take,” Hoge said. “You can be less perfectionist about it and just try to enjoy playing songs.”
In their seven years as a band, they’ve amassed almost 200,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and toured with acts like The Front Bottoms and Margaret Glaspy.
For Alexander, who was a fan of bands like Josie and the Pussycats growing up, fronting Bad Bad Hats has been nothing short of a dream.
“When I was younger, I was totally obsessed with certain bands and their songs were so special to me,” Alexander said. “That anyone would let our songs be a part of their lives in that way is really very, very cool to me.”
After the release of their latest EP, “Wide Right,” this past March, Bad Bad Hats is looking forward to sharing the work they’ve put into their next album.
“We are definitely improving as we go, which I think is a good thing,” Alexander said. “And I'm glad that people are sticking with us as we grow and learn.”
What: Bad Bad Hats Winter Ball with Ratboys and Last Import
When: Saturday, Dec. 21, 8 p.m.
Where: First Avenue, 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis
Cost: $16 in advance, $18 at the door