The Hoosiers


The Hoosiers Myspace

There’s something inexplicably pleasant about circus-inspired instrumentalism. It worked for Panic! at the Disco and, on the second single off its 2007 debut, The Trick to Life, it more than works for indie-pop trio The Hoosiers. “Goodbye Mr. A,” a boppy commentary about real-life comic book hero Mr. A, who is both too stoic and too logical for his own good, kicks off with the delightful bounce of piano keys. The sound instantly drags up happy-go-lucky memories of funnel cakes, clowns and childhood simplicity.

A few seconds into the song, the guys quickly introduce some rollicking guitar, a swelling bass and lead singer Irwin Sparkes’ impeccable falsetto. Sparkes sings, “You had all the answers / But no human touch / If life is subtraction / Your number is up / Your love is a fraction / It’s not adding up.” With straightforward lyricism that (gasp) doesn’t revolve solely around failing relationships and unrequited love and a musical sound worthy of a charming little carnival, “Goodbye Mr. A” effectively sums up The Hoosiers’ appeal: simple and upbeat.

The Hoosiers — composed of sweater vest-wearing frontman Sparkes, bassist Martin Skarendahl and mustachioed drummer Alfonso Sharland — first formed when Sparkes and Sharland, who are both from the United Kingdom, secured soccer scholarships to a university in Indiana. While there, where the locals are commonly referred to as hoosiers, the guys gathered not only a band name but enough compelling material to record an album, which they released after returning to London and hooking up with Swedish musician Skarendahl.

The resulting debut, which eventually reached No. 1 on the UK charts, was a collection of 12 weird, infectious tracks. Standout track “Cops and Robbers” utilizes heavy synthesizers and a hodge-podge of everyday sounds that range from clashes and bangs to space ship noises.

In the end, The Hoosiers are a deliciously unique addition to a genre sadly bloated with musical clones, and the band’s sound is more lighthearted than a trip to Six Flags.

— By Entertainment Editor Franchesca Winters


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