Photo: Chloe Le Drezen
Quarantine Diaries: Overcoats Are Answering Emails & Braving The Cold In Prospect Park
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the music industry, GRAMMY.com reached out to musicians to see how they were spending their days indoors. Today, Brooklyn-based alt-pop duo Overcoats (Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell) share their Quarantine Diary. Their latest project, 'The Fight (Remixed),' is out now.
JJ: I wake up, throw on hideous turquoise scrubs and manically make a latte with my espresso machine that I'm still paying for (not sure they're worth the money). I run out the door, bike across town to the doctor's office where I've worked part-time after touring/music making was officially put on hold due to COVID-19.
Hana: I'm still sleeping at this point. I've probably stayed up until one or two the night before binge-watching movies.
JJ: I file charts, shoot the sh*t with my colleagues and complain about how I can't breathe through my mask.
Hana: At this point I'm up and probably running to babysit for a few hours. Normally we're not in New York enough during the year to do these jobs. But while touring is not on the table, it's a good way to make money and also pass the time. We have found that we actually make our best art when we are busy and multi-tasking. In college when we were first starting our band, we used to work on our theses in the library until 1 a.m., and then write music after that.
JJ: I run to the supermarket around the corner and eat whatever mediocre soup they have that day. I text Hana and answer any urgent Overcoats emails. Occasionally I'll do a phone interview while pretending I'm not at work on my lunch break!
Hana: After I finish babysitting, I get set up at my computer. I'm doing a combination of answering emails, listening to and approving mixes and masters, and maybe even working on a new song. I tend to also post a selfie on socials around this time.
JJ: I bike home from the office, which now means in the dark (OMG winter is terrible).
Hana: I'm probably still working at my computer. It's crazy how being a professional musician involves so much more work than just playing or writing. We're running a business! #GirlBosses
JJ: We usually do an Overcoats Zoom call, writing session, or I'll deep dive into email! Sometimes we'll record a cover for our Patreon subscribers, work on album artwork for upcoming releases, reminisce about life on tour and send each other double chin selfies.
Hana: JJ is back from work and I'm filling her in on updates from the day. If I'm finished working by this point, I'll have a cup of tea and watch some videos on production. I've been really into MasterClass lately. Even though we can't tour, I want to feel like I'm still learning and progressing at my craft.
JJ: I eat dinner with my parents, boyfriend, twin brother and his girlfriend (yes, it's chaos here with my pod).
Hana: I'm either cooking a feast or ordering Thai food. It's literally one or the other.
JJ: MORE OVERCOATS EMAILS! SO. MANY. EMAILS. No one tells you how many emails you actually have to answer, even though you've chosen to be a career musician so that you don't have to sit at a computer and answer emails!
Hana: Yep, I'm also back on email. I might need to go to Hawaii and do a technology cleanse after this is all over.
JJ: I binge watch "The Bold Type," "The Great British Baking Show" or "Gardeners' World." Or in last night's case, I watched Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (which is actually really dated and transphobic, which I unfortunately did not remember).
Hana: Movie time! My boyfriend is a bit of a cinephile, so I'm usually watching some art film. Once he goes to bed, I'll binge watch "The Bachelorette" or "Love Island" for some me time.
Our other activities have included:
JJ: Making hand-built pottery, reading Phoebe Robinson's book, dying my hair, playing online UNO with Hana and other friends, and putting together more IKEA cabinets in my new closet than I care to divulge.
Hana: Doing the occasional online work out, lots of yoga, gluten-free baking, outdoor hangs in the freezing Prospect Park, and a lot of FaceTiming with my family.