Hooked Like Helen
In a house in the woods about 40 miles west of Cleveland, Hooked Like Helen began as the musical brainstorms of husband-and-wife, Jon and Nikki Stipp. Experimental home recordings quickly developed into an alt-pop vision; within a year of the project's inception, Nikki and Jon had shaped a new sound that reflected their truth and their influences in a seamless blend of organic and electronic production. The band’s 2019 five song EP, Tragedy Of Physics, co-produced by Nikki and long-time friend and collaborator, Grammy-winning Isha Erskine, garnered international attention: The music video for the angsty-beautiful piano ballad "Liar" premiered on Radio Disney platforms and the song was included on the Motion Picture Soundtrack for High Strung: Free Dance. The film - starring Thomas Doherty (Disney’s Descendants 2 and 3), Jane Seymour and Juliet Doherty - was released on Netflix on May 31st, 2020 and prominently features "Liar" in an emotional, groundbreaking dance sequence choreographed by Tyce Diorio (So You Think You Can Dance, Taylor Swift’s ‘ME!’).
Hooked Like Helen’s Tragedy of Physics EP is up for 5 Josie Music Awards (to be announced September 2020). "Liar" received an Honorable Mention in this year’s prestigious International Songwriting Competition in two categories, and was recently named a finalist in the Unsigned Only Songwriting Competition, whose panel of judges - including Charli XCX, Robert Smith and Grouplove - will determine winners in early fall.
Track 2 from Hooked Like Helen's Tragedy Of Physics EP, "No Turning Back" premiered on CLASH Magazine who praised it as “a soaring, vastly uplifting piece of bouncy, addictive alt-pop”. The song was then used in the official movie trailer for High Strung: Free Dance, making it the 5th song in total that Nikki and Jon contributed to the film. The band’s single "Tear This Place Apart" premiered on the highly influential UK-based The Line Of Best Fit and received rave reviews from the publication.
Hooked Like Helen has entered 2020 with a fresh set of musical placements in the wildly popular Netflix docu-series, CHEER. Nikki custom composed tracks for 9 scenes in 4 of the 6 episodes that aired in January 2020, garnering tweets of approval from Reese Witherspoon, Chrissy Teigen, Amy Schumer, Gabrielle Union, and many more. The band is no stranger to scoring music for docu-series’; previously, Hooked Like Helen tracks "Get Well", "Surface Break", and "Concrete Tub" were placed on MTV’s Unlocking The Truth and were included in the show’s official Spotify playlist. “Surface Break” was also featured in the pivotal final segment of the poignant Davis Guggenheim documentary, The Dream Is Now which chronicles the struggles of the children of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
Hooked Like Helen is now preparing a new EP for release in Fall 2020 and has announced a residency at world-renowned Cedar Point for select dates in August. The duo played a Livestream show from the historic 1500 seat Sandusky State Theatre on May 20th, broadcast to local fans via the Sandusky Register. This Hooked Like Helen show was the last live performance on that stage before the theatre was severely damaged in a storm on June 10th. Fox 8 News Cleveland aired clips from the livestream on June 12th, 2020.
Hooked Like Helen's sound embodies a unique vein of pop music; Nikki’s haunting, layered harmonies and lush vocal arrangements create a surreal atmosphere of simultaneous melancholy and hope, dissonance and resolve. Dark lyrical themes of existential pondering provide an eerie contrast to HLH’s sonic sensibilities in a timeless, ageless context in which melody reigns supreme. Piano hooks, intricate, rhythmic bass lines, and epic, driving drums carry the songs of Hooked Like Helen through a slightly sad world view, always with a groove and a constant sense of Pop.