On April 19th, New Jersey’s modest indie rockers, Little Hag, premiered a new video for “Encore” via FLOOD Magazine. The track was a part of the band’s late-2020 release, Whatever Happened To Avery Jane? “Encore” draws parallels between the track’s anxious and almost gloatful ode to improvising on stage and the dramatic lap that baseball players are granted when hitting a home-run. The song is highly self reflective and humorously observant.
Recorded live at a gig from Asbury Park in 2018, “Encore” captures a raw energy that feels nostalgic in hindsight. What you hear on the track is Little Hag making it up as they go, very unrehearsed, complete with crowd noise, stage giggles, and an imperfect, natural performance. It’s authentic at its core and reminds you of what makes music feel alive. The song captures the live energy from their gigs as well as the fun they have while performing.
Engineer and producer Joe Pomarico wanted them to play the song twice for safety, but this actual encore at the end of a set was the perfect fit for what they were looking for initially. The video came much later, with the social restrictions of the pandemic, and plays with the idea of an audience in a time when such community experiences are deeply missed.
“Then and now, I yearn for warmth, freckles, good hair days, and inner peace while speeding down an icy Garden State Parkway en route to the gig.”Vocalist, Avery Mandeville
Fronted by the singer-songwriter, Mandeville has released several EPs as a solo act and put thousands of miles on other people’s vans touring the US. Little Hag was conceived in a New Jersey basement and born again during quarantine. The band is comprised of Mandeville (she/her) on guitar and complaining, Matt Fernicola (he/him) on lead guitar, Owe Flanagan (he/him) on drums, Chris Dubrow (he/him) on bass, and Noah Rauchwerk (he/him) on keys and emotional support.
Signed by Bar/None Records just before everything shut down, Little Hag emerged in 2020 with “Tetris,” a two-minute slice of pure pop pugnaciousness with a bummer end of summer vibe, followed by a compilation LP of older Mandeville tracks titled Whatever Happened To Avery Jane? The album chronicles Mandeville’s many pleasures and pains, from making a game out of the “walk of shame,” calling out abusive men, social media stalking, reckless driving, and the like.
Mandeville is a confrontational front-woman with a penchant for brutal honesty, profanity, and the taboo, and a voice that has been compared to Roy Orbison, Angel Olsen, silk taffeta, and a car backing out of a gravel driveway. After Little Hag shows, many old dudes have said “What is she so angry about?” because they weren’t listening. In her previous incarnation, she was named one of eight New Jersey musicians you need to know by Asbury Park Press and her 2018 LP ranked as the number five album of the year by NJ.com.
Passion of the Weiss calls Little Hag “…a thrilling songwriter, untethered from time and place, sending DMs and shade, not greetings, from Asbury Park.”
The song’s lyrics provide an image of yearning for the changing of the seasons, while also a hopeful return of live music. The energy from the crowd reminds us of what we have momentarily lost and what we yearn to return to; live music. Make sure to stream the authentic track, “Encore,” and to watch the accompanying music video. “Encore” makes it evident that Little Hag is a home-run of a band, with brilliant lyrics and incredible vocals and sound.
To keep up with the band, check out their social media!