NYC’s Vintage Pop Band Hennessey Drops New Track and Video

Led by the daughter of a New York Doll, Hennessey’s “Let’s Pretend (It’s the 80s)” begs you to dance.

Manhattan-based band Hennessey sees members Leah Hennessey, E.J. O’Hara, and Noah Chevan churning out dance/electronic punk that’s grounded in vintage pop. While they’re all multidisciplinary artists, in Hennessey’s new single “Let’s Pretend (It’s the 80s),” lead singer and principal songwriter Leah Hennessey’s lyrics are clever as she laments on escaping back to the money-fueled ‘80s, a fantasy for a generation doomed by debt. Bringing the track to life is it’s new music video, dropping on Friday and shot throughout Hennessey’s NYC neighborhood, with the band’s synth and drum machine operator E.J. O’Hara as director and cinematographer and editing by Leah Hennessey.

I think every generation feels like they’ve just missed out on the good times, when things were real,” said Leah Hennessey, who’s also the daughter of the New York Dolls’ David Johansen. “[The song] is kind of an ironic love letter to my generation; to those of us who grew up in the shadow of a lost New York, those of us who felt like our underground could only ever be an imitation of the Atlantis our parents were too fucked up to remember, kept alive in coffee table books and party documentaries and mood boards forever more.” 

“I’ve always felt like there was something a little wrong with me for not lusting after money or security, for wanting to opt out and live in a fantasy world of costume jewelry, but more and more I’m realizing that’s a part of my generation’s downwardly mobile heritage,” the lead singer said of the single’s themes and inspirations. “The system is broken, what can I say but “let’s dance?”  

“Let’s Pretend (It’s the 80s)” is the first track off Hennessey’s forthcoming self-titled EP via Velvet Elk Records, which was recorded at Flux Studio in New York’s East Village and is due for release this summer. “I was writing these brash satirical comedy songs and then I was writing these smol sad songs and I was sick of feeling like a cipher,” Leah Hennessey said of the band’s EP. “I needed to be able to write a love song about Jarvis Cocker, for instance, that was clever but also embarrassingly sincere. If you look at like, Prince or Bowie or people like that, there’s no separation between the humor and the feeling.”

Living among the retro-obsessed scene of Avenue A in the East Village, Hennessey comes as more of a rebirth than a rehash of New York band’s before them. Summing up their sound, Leah Hennessey says it’s “like if Prince produced the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.”

Stay tuned for Hennessey’s upcoming EP, and watch the music video down below for “Let’s Pretend (It’s the 80s)” dropping Friday at 12am EST.

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