No matter how far they might stray, MCCAFFERTY always seem to find their way back.
Four years ago, just as the Ohio-based quartet—singer/guitarist Nick Hartkop, guitarist Evan Graham, bassist Chris Joecken and drummer Wes Easterly—were building steam with their sweat-soaked, highly caffeinated blend of emo and punk, they abruptly put their musical aspirations on pause. But even though McCafferty disappeared, they ultimately lived on through their songs.
“I had to keep taking the music down off the internet,” says Hartkop, who formed McCafferty as a solo acoustic project in 2010 and became a special education teacher during the band’s hiatus. “My students were asking me, ‘What’s this song about?’ It just didn’t fit with my professional life. But the band really started to grow when it was broken up. So many people have come up to me and told me they discovered us when we weren’t a band. I don’t know how it happened.”
One listen to YARN, the band’s second LP and debut release for Triple Crown Records, and it’s pretty clear: McCafferty’s music does more than just entertain with its raucous energy and infectious melodies—it challenges listeners by exploring the ugliness of the world at large and lends a comforting hand to those with nowhere else to turn.
It’s that connection with their audience that’s actually responsible for McCafferty’s second act in the first place. At the urging of a fan, a crowd-funded campaign allowed the band to record and release their comeback EP, 2017’s Thanks. Sure. Sorry., which reintroduced the scene to McCafferty after their hiatus and earned the band recognition in outlets like Alternative Press. Now, with a new fire and full-time mentality (before reuniting, the band had played a whopping six shows ever), they’ve stretched themselves further than ever on Yarn.