Hoodie Allen Announces Headline Dublin Show
+ special guest: Connor Price
The Academy Green Room
Tuesday 21st February 2023
Tickets €24.90 Incl. booking fee
Doors 7pm | Over 18s | ID Required
Hoodie Allen delivers heartbreak-inspired emo hooks on his latest full-length release, b☺b. The eight-song endeavor weaves between infectious pop melodies juxtaposed with punk guitar riffs. A sonic departure from his usual playful raps, this record takes us on a highly personal journey of the messiness that befalls a breakup. This alternative pop-punk emergence isn’t completely unexpected, however, as Hoodie has previously toured with the likes of Fall Out Boy, opened for Panic at the Disco and Twenty One Pilots, and collaborated with Mark Hoppus (of Blink 182) and State Champs.
The Brooklyn-based indie musician became an independent sensation when he first formally arrived in 2009. Without a label or management, his 2012 EP All American landed in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Top 200, delivering 2 platinum singles and eventually moving over 250,000 units. His mainstream success sparked a collaboration with Ed Sheeran in 2014, which garnered buzz from MTV, Buzzfeed Billboard, and more. Now, he’s poised to break all preconceptions with the genre-shifting release that is, b☺b..
“This is truly the first time I went into an album and painstakingly made sure that every word mattered,” Hoodie explains. “Even when it made me uncomfortable, I needed to share my real feelings and be completely vulnerable in the process because that’s the only way I could feel better. I made this for me and me only, and weirdly I think that’s what is going to make it universal.”
That mentality fueled the creative process behind the album. Co-written and produced with The Wreck’s Nick Anderson, Hoodie’s new comfort zone in the alternative world is solidified through unabashed openness and sincerity throughout the eight-track narrative on b☺b.
“I’ve held onto this album for longer than I’ve held onto anything else in my past” he elaborates. “ At times when I felt down and sad and missing this person I shared a life with, I could turn on these songs and they would get me to the place of closure that I needed. Now that I’m letting go and giving it to the world, I hope that the fans who need to hear something like that will find the same solace and the same chaos, or whatever they need to take from the songs the same way it did it for me”.
The first single “Wouldn’t That Be Nice” showcases the highs and lows and the range of dynamics on the album and therefore is the perfect appetizer for what’s to come. It starts at the beginning of the end of the relationship that inspired it all.
“It’s the feeling of still holding on,” he recalls. “Even though so much wrong has transpired and you feel ashamed to admit it, it’s easier to hypothetically hate someone you’ve loved for so long than to actually do it.”
Elsewhere on the record, “Call Me Never” encapsulates all of the lies we tell ourselves to get over someone who has hurt us. The pop-punk sound evokes nostalgia inspired by early iterations of the genre in all of its (new found) glory. Despite the high energy fast-paced sing-along, the upbeat energy is juxtaposed with vulnerable lyrics about a weak moment.
“I think this song sets the course for my goal which is that people will walk away from this and wonder if a rapper just made the best pop-punk song/album of the year,” he exclaims.
Hoodie Allen’s broad range in talent, influence, and experience goes beyond the diversity showcased across his discography. How many people can boast about graduating from an Ivy League college (University of Pennsylvania), in Hoodie’s case, and working at Google? Not many. Each of these experiences impacted and influenced his perception, further fostering his own indie enterprise and entrepreneurship.
“I never expected to get to where I am,” he smiles. “Doing things independently means you have to be incredibly driven and strong-willed. To this day, I still just take things step by step and do what feels right to me. That plays to an entrepreneurial background, which I love. I lived a double life at Google. I had a real-world job, but I had my outside ambition. Everything contributes though. Working on the marketing and business of music myself is like my own company and brand.”
In the end, he’s delivering something for fans to cherish forever. Hoodie concludes, “I made a super personal record from top to bottom. Finishing the album made me immensely happy without ever having to show it to a single soul. Despite it being such a personal project, I think it might end up being the most relatable thing I’ve embarked on.”