Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Former Charlottean co-piloting NYC buzz band

Ex Cops is the new band from former Hymns' vocalist/guitarist Brian Harding. Harding grew up in Charlotte before moving to New York to pursue music. It was there that he and fellow Charlottean Jason Roberts (now with Norah Jones' band) started the rootsy rock band Hymns. I adored Hymns' two albums and final EP, "Appaloosa" (I feel fortunate that Roberts handed me a rare physical copy at a show at Snug Harbor since my download became corrupted).

As sad as I was to see Hymns go following those three releases and tours with Sam Roberts and Ben Kweller, it looks like Harding is on to something with his new band Ex Cops (not to be confused with the Gwar mid-`90s uniform-clad side project X-Cops). The five-piece band that grew out of Harding and co-vocalist Amalie Bruun's (ex-Minks) home recordings appears poised for hipster buzz band-om. "Spin" named it one of the Best New Bands of 2012. Finicky taste maker Pitchfork gave its debut album, "True Hallucinations" (out now), a positive review. NPR featured its first single "James" in its All Songs Considered Podcast.

Sadly no hometown tour dates are on the horizon just yet, but Ex Cops is heading to SXSW and you can watch its new Jason Shaltz-directed video for "Separator" on Pitchfork.TV here. Its much simpler video for the track "Ken" is also on YouTube. (Photo credit: Micah Schmidt)