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Exclusive Premiere: North Carolina Quartet Whoop Dig Into the Big Band Sound on ‘The Way’

Formed in 2020, the band’s upcoming second album ‘Just What?’ covers pop, rock, reggae and jazzy hip-hop

Anurag Tagat Mar 16, 2023

North Carolina band Whoop will release their new album 'Just What?' via Porcelain Records in April. Photo: Truth Industries/Courtesy of Team Clermont

There’s something about a roaring horn section that immediately commands your attention and North Carolina-based band Whoop sure do know it. Their song “The Way” – part of their upcoming album Just What? – immediately introduces itself like a party-starting juggernaut that bursts through the doors, big band sound and funky rock grooves included.

Considering they were formed during the pandemic in the Fall of 2020, it’s no surprise to hear vocalist Fallon Roberts aka Fal say that the song started out as part of an Instagram live stream, which was a mainstay for the socially-distanced world at the time. “One day we all decided to hop on and record something for our social media since we are really bad at that,” she says. Fal follows the music to sing about “the feeling of falling for someone” hook, line and sinker. The vocalist adds, “Everything they do is enticing, from the way they move, to the way they do what they do. Sometimes you don’t have words for that, you just know it feels good to see and be around them. This track represents that feeling.”

Beyond virtual interactions, the solid foundation of locked-in grooves and rhythms was built upon by the band through jams at guitarist-producer Steve Bigas’ studio in Raleigh. Bassist Nick Clarke adds, “We normally start with a single idea, whether it be on bass, guitar, or drums. We build off 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.” It helps that they have Bigas as producer, given that he’s won a Grammy for his work as an engineer for bluesman Taj Mahal for Best Contemporary Blues Album (Shoutin’ In Key) in 2000.

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Including Fal, Bigas and Clarke, Whoop is completed by drummer William Perrone. They have prepped their album Just What? – a follow-up to the self-titled 2021 album Whoop! – for release on April 7th via Porcelain Records. There’s even more in store. Bigas says, “We’re working on a ‘2.5’ record – instrumental movie music. And album number three is already fifty percent written!”

Listen to “The Way” below. The song is out on streaming platforms on March 17th.

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