Interview with Hipsy Gap


Hipsy Gap has a double single — “Fantasize / Uno” — releasing on January 12th. Both tracks are fantastic — with the former touting a nostalgic, textured rock pull, while “Uno” immerses with its heavy guitar tones and “balls-to-the-wall” drum beat. What are some of the themes and inspirations inherent in these two tracks? 

Makenzie Correll (vocals): “Fantasize” recounts the downfall of a relationship that was way overdue. One person is halfway out the door while the other is still holding on, yet not oblivious to the signs. Eventually one person needs to let go in order to protect their heart and that’s how the song ends; with the lyric “this time our love’s gone for good.” The emotion is more nostalgic than the other two songs we have put out. 

Daniel Walsh (guitar): Uno tells the story of a narrator who is killed by their lover, then haunts them in the afterlife. Obviously not drawing on personal experience here, but the feelings are relatable and I think they resonate. It’s about lust, anger, and revenge–in that order. Both songs are loud and full of energy. They are debatably part of the same universe: the same lovers, the same relationship. I guess that’s all up to the listener though. 

Can you share the origin story of Hipsy Gap and how the band has evolved since its formation? 

Paul Ortega (Bass): Funny enough it’s not the most common of origin stories. Some of us met pretty online through messaging on Craigslist. I vividly remember meeting Dan in a bar in Bushwick and it was all uphill from there. 

DW: Haha, this is true. I had to make sure Paul wasn’t a serial killer. I had put up an ad looking for bandmates when I moved to Brooklyn in early 2023. I also met Eduardo on Craigslist. I knew Ben and Makenzie already. Ben and I went to college together and played in a band called Arc Trip. Makenzie and I played in a band in Boston called The Spins, and moved to BK around the same time looking to start a new band. 

Congratulations on your upcoming headlining set at FirstLive BK on January 12th! How would you say the energy of your live shows compares to the studio recordings? 

DW: Thanks. We’re super stoked about it. FirstLive is an awesome up-and-coming venue in Bushwick, and it’s the perfect size where we’ll be able to pack it out. It’s really exciting to be headlining a show on the same day of this release. Simply put, I’d say everything is more energetic at the live show. Plus, you can’t turn the volume down. 

What’s your favorite venue to perform at? 

Ben Thomas (drums): Ivy House in Bushwick! Wonderful space, wonderful people. PO: I’d say Rubulad in Bushwick, straight up real life Alice in Wonderland. MC: I love playing Sofar Sounds shows! 

EP: Mercury Lounge. 

DW: The Third Rail in Bushwick.

Do you have a specific process or ritual when creating new music? 

MC: A lot of my ideas come when I’m on the train or walking from place to place and I’ll jot them down in my phone or take a voice memo to go back to later. I always need a clean room when creating because a clean room = fresh mind. 

EP: For me, I think that not having a process or ritual can be more productive at times. Sometimes some of the best ideas come where you’re not looking for them. 

Any favorite artists or albums you’re listening to at the moment? 

MC: I get a lot of my lyrical inspiration from up-and-coming songwriters on tik tok honestly. Some more well known lyrical heroes for me include Hozier, Elliot Smith, Gregory Alan Isakov, and Madison Cunningham. 

BT: Lately I’ve been returning to black midi’s debut album Schlagenheim. The energy it carries is infectious. 

DW: Acetone is a cool 90s slowcore band I’ve been listening to a lot. Also getting into Alex G’s and Fiona Apple’s catalog. 

PO: I found this Japanese band named Supercar from the late 90s. I love the songwriting and perfect 90s alternative sound. 

EP: I like discovering new bands from other countries, some of the best I’ve found are Hiperson (China) and Outlet Drift (Taiwan), really cool, raw energy and interesting songwriting. 

If you could collaborate with any artist, alive or dead, who would it be? 

EP: Tosin Abasi or Yvette Young. They inspired me to pick up electric guitar again after having had to set it aside during my years in the conservatory focused on classical music and piano. BT: I’d have to go with a bass player. MonoNeon, Les Claypool, Thundercat, or Rocco Palladino. (Sorry Paul) 

PO: Mac Demarco. 

MC: Stevie Nicks! 

DW: I think Johnny Greenwood from Radiohead is a safe bet. 

What do you find is the most satisfying part of being an artist? 

EP: Finishing. Creating can be a very long and difficult process, but it’s so satisfying when you finally develop an idea or sketch into a complete piece. It’s amazing when you think about it. Creating something out of nothing, and then you also get to have it as something to share with the others, something which before you could only hear in your head or imagine what it’d sound like. 

MC: Continuously pushing my own limits. I love challenging myself to get better and better at singing and writing.

BT: At this point it personally comes down to honing a craft and creating unity between performing musicians. When things gel and everybody is on the same page, music is like magic. 

What is the biggest challenge you find in today’s music industry? 

BT: The biggest challenge is how many challenges there are! I guess it depends on what you’re trying to get out of music. The most common issue is monetizing yourself and turning it into a living. There just isn’t a lot of money going into the industry outside of “brands” that already generate large amounts of revenue. At the end of the day, in the music business world, the only thing that matters is your sales (merchandise, tickets, streams, views, etc). That can be pretty demoralizing. Most musicians I know who want to do it professionally are stuck on this issue, including myself. 

DW: Preach. 

EP: Exactly, it depends on what your goal is. I really wish you could only focus on writing and playing music, but there always seems to be another step or challenge. 

MC: Plus, there’s so much competition in the independent artist scene. Social media saturates everything. 

What’s upcoming for the project? 

DW: More songs, more shows. We should have a new single dropping every 6-8 weeks for the foreseeable future. The next one is a really epic song, it’s the one we close out our live set with and it might be our best song to date. Plus, the stuff we’re writing right now might even be better than that. We are really starting to find our sound and write to it. To me, the coolest thing about our band is how different all of our inspirations are, so it’s been really fun to find the sound together… and we’re still exploring! Whatever happens, it’s gonna be a big year for us.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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