Formed in 2010 by then New Jersey high school friends Colin Alexander and David Breton, lo-fi indie quartet Spook Houses are brash and developed, producing a sound way beyond their years. Lovingly channeling the ranks of indie royalty like Pavement, The Microphones and Modest Mouse, with the varied quirk of acts like Mount Eerie and Frog Eyes, the band’s recently-released debut, Trying, could almost be renamed to, Done considering the leaps they make from one-year’s practice time to what’s found within the LP’s runtime. Varied, paced and true-to-form, Trying could very well be one of the current radar’s lowest flying talents.

Having already shared the stage with the likes of Real Estate and Screaming Females, the band just wrapped an East Coast tour with breezy NY punks SIRS last night. While in route to a recent show, I asked the group if they would want to make a mixtape of some things they were currently all about. Download the band’s 12-track mix (they really wanted to send a tape, but for brevity and mailing, a link was chosen instead) read about why each song was chosen and snag the single, “American” from their debut below. Huzzah!

Trying is out now via Double Double Whammy/Evil Weevil/Chill Mega Chill Records.

Spook Houses- Mixtape (Download)

Spook Houses- “American” (MP3)


1. In a Big Country – Big Country
Ok! Starting things off we’ve got Big Country, just feel good vibes and an overall great time. You know it’s gonna be a good day.

2. Shady Lane – Pavement
A lot of us were never really into Pavement until this year. Alkis, our bass player showed us the way into this wacky world. Shady Lane is this group of guys’ choice cut.

3. Crayon Box – The Gerbils
The Gerbils rule. Most underrated Elephant 6 band.

4. Songs of Living – Liam the Younger
A lot of Liam’s songs have been some of our favorites over the years and we definitely took a lot of cues from him on Trying. We owe a lot to this guy, and the lofi vibes are great!

5. Get In – The Hive Dwellers
Really goofy and groovy, the Hive Dwellers are a new favorite for us. Alkis and I played with them earlier in the year and Calvin’s moves were great!

6. Domesticated Dog – Mount Eerie
We covered this song a little while ago, and a lot of the Mount Eerie stuff has been growing on us. Taking a bunch of cues from Phil Elverum in our future songwriting.

7. Super Rich Kids – Frank Ocean (Feat. Earl Sweatshirt)
Best track on Frank Ocean’s new album!

8. Them – Glocca Morra
Favorite Philadelphia brothers. I don’t know what to say about this song other than it’s a great one to ride your bike to.

9. Two Hearts – Bruce Springsteen
Song about love and life in New Jersey. We are from New Jersey and we’re loving it.

10. Anchorite – Andrew Cedermark
The production on Andrew’s album, Moon Deluxe, is really cool. It straddles this great line between lo-fi tape vibes and h-ifi production value. The live band is great too!

11. Harry Dolland’s. – Fluffy Lumbers
We decided to put this song on here because Fluffy Lumbers influenced a lot of the earlier music we wrote. The tunes are simplistic, fun and colorful.

12. Black Fly – The Act of Estimating as Worthless
The Act of Estimating are some of our favorite friends in the music realm. This track is a tape-y demo they made for their upcoming record. Their drummer Mike, recorded Trying!