On sophomore album Just What? North Carolina’s Whoop traverse indie-pop, rock, reggae, and
jazzy hip-hop with instinctive musicality, rare chemistry, and palpable joy.
Due on Porcelain Records on April 1 st , the foursome’s second full-length in as many years
evolves an innately diverse palette channeled through force-of-nature vocalist Fal and shaped by
Grammy-winning guitarist/producer Steve Bigas.
“Music is supposed to bring people together, shake things up, cause a ruckus, and make a mark,”
said Fal. “I always want Whoop to leave a lasting impression in someone’s mind/heart/ears.”
Formed in 2020, Whoop evolved organically from Friday night jams in Bigas’ barn studio in
Raleigh. Consisting of musical moments captured, distilled, and tastefully shaped into songs, the
band’s celebratory yet introspective eponymous debut emerged to rave reviews just a year later.
Since then, the prolific quartet, completed by bassist Nick and drummer Will, has been
performing electrifying live shows – including Carolina Indie Fest and the NC State Fair –
between the writing/recording sessions that ultimately spawned Just What?
“We normally start with a single idea, whether it be on bass, guitar, or drums,” Nick explained.
“We build off of that until it evolves into a vibe. Fal then takes that vibe and sings the first thing
that comes to mind. Later, we chop up the best parts to form outlines for songs.”
With transplanted Canadian Bigas (Ziggy Marley, Daniel Lanois, Taj Mahal etc.) once again at
the controls, Just What? announces itself with the visceral, guitar-driven call-to-arms of opener
“Rise Up” – a song that seamlessly juxtaposes reggae grooves, indie sensibilities, and an
anthemic rock hook. Second track “The Way” confirms Whoop’s adventurous genre-blending
with its playful big-band horns, sultry vocal, and burbling percussion.
Further Just What? highlights include the streetwise, syncopated angst-funk of “Cherry Cola”;
delicate and dreamy acoustic standout “New Disposition”; and the gorgeous, late-night jazzy
soul and finely grained Fal performance on “Here.” Meanwhile, breezy, contemplative “Time
Machine” contrasts with the rhythmic exotica of “Nothing Changes” and the title track’s gritty
grooves and sardonic narrative.
And Whoop’s four contrasting yet uniquely complimentary characters just can’t stop/won’t, stop
creating. “Album number three is already fifty percent written!”Bigas revealed.