“We don’t usually play with this set up,” said Overcoats‘ JJ Mitchell at today’s Free At Noon concert. “We usually have a drummer, and electronic kind of ‘woo-woo-woo’ stuff. It’s This is special for WXPN, so thank you for listening and getting us an opportunity to try out our acoustic set.”

Though the show didn’t have the driving dance rhythms and up-on-your-feet energy of Overcoats’ famed set opening for Mitski at Union Transfer in 2018, it did have a decisive focus on songcraft, with Mitchell and her bandmate and creative partner Hana Elion sharing pindrop-soft harmonies to gentle guitar accompaniment that called attention to their strong suits as writers: big-bang hooks and lyrical empathy. Deconstructed in this fashion, the music was at turns yearning and sad — “New Shoes,” with its chorus describing how “I woke up one morning and realized all my life has passed me by” — as well as hopefully optimistic. To that end, many songs ended up in the area of pep talks — “Winner,” for instance, the title track from the album they’ll release on April 7th.

The tone of the songs was a spectrum, too; “Want You Back” was a jaunty pop bop with spirit-lifting energy, “The Fool” opened the second half of the show with bass accompaniment by Elion and a heady psychedelic vibe, and “Horsegirl” had wistful close harmonies and a SoCal 60s folk feeling. At the same time, Overcoats’ playful side was never far behind, and they got the crowd to cheer to indicate “who thinks we look like horse girls and who think we look like horses,” like it was a standup bit on a Friday afternoon.

Winner is out April 7th via Rough Trade, and the band plays Johnny Brenda’s on April 25th. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at WXPN’s Concerts and Events page. Listen to Overcoats Free at Noon concert and check out photos from the show below.

Overcoats Free at Noon 2.24.2023
Free At Noon
  • New Shoes
  • Want You Back
  • Hardest Part
  • Winner
  • The Fool
  • Horsegirl
  • Never Let You Go
  • Fire & Fury