Husband and wife duo Nikki and Jon Stipp are Hooked Like Helen, an Ohio-based Alt-pop act. They have just released their new EP Tragedy Of Physics, which was co-produced alongside Grammy award-winning mixer, engineer and producer Isha Erskine (Ziggy Marley, Maroon 5, Black Eyed Peas), and features vocals by NBC’s The Voice contestant, Emily Keener.
Nikki and Jon both bring their own influence to the metaphorical musical table. Nikki’s affinity for artists such as Prince, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Carol King, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Halsey, Rihanna, and The Weeknd, blends at once while contrasting with Jon’s love for rock such as Guns and Roses, The Eagles, Steely Dan, Green Day, Rage Against The Machine, Chris Stapleton and hip-hop and alt-rock like 2pac and Twenty One Pilots. It’s this blend of influences as well as the merging of classic and current songwriting structures, that are defining attributes to Hooked Like Helen’s sound.
Opening the EP, the duo twists their idiosyncratic brand of alt-pop into a power ballad on ‘Tear This Place Apart’ and allow Nikki’s vocal intensity to boil over into cathartic exultation. The track offers lyrics about the agonies and ecstasies of love, impeccably underpinned by a soundscape that reaches nuclear-threat levels, thanks to Nikki’s voice. On ‘No Turning Back’, Hooked Like Helen takes the best parts of all of their influences and make them their own, coating everything in the breathy flutter of Nikki’s voice. The track is a kaleidoscopic soundscape, confident and emotionally resonant. In terms of pure power-pop delight, ‘Beautiful World’ is hard to beat – it’s one of those tracks that tap directly into your musical pleasure centre and jabs at the best bits. It is everything that pop music should be: eloquent, glamorous, spirited, with an infusion of freshness. All in all, Tragedy of Physics is full of piano hooks, intricate, rhythmic bass lines, and epic, driving drums which carry the EP through the subject matter, but with an underlying groove and a constant sense of pop.
Speaking of the Tragedy of Physics EP, Hooked Like Helen said: “Tragedy Of Physics is growing pains in Extended Play form. Recorded in our home studio and self-produced, each track reflects a step further for us into the trek toward who we truly are, what we mean, and where we want to be..”
Tragedy Of Physics EP Tracklist:
1. Tear This Place Apart
2. No Turning Back
4. Beautiful World
5. It Goes On (featuring Emily Keener)
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