Red Light Management


May 16, 2023



NEW YORK, NY  Buzzing New York alternative band HOKO serve up a brand new single entitled Pretender via EQT Recordings/Republic Records. Listen to Pretender HERE.
On the single vocalist Nathaniel Hoho said: “Pretender is about someone who only reaches out when they need something. The song was written with Mikey Shoes (Queens of the Stone Age) and Zackary Dawes ( Lana Del Rey, Last Shadow Puppets) at Mikey’s home in Los Angeles. The song started with an audio recording I had taken on my phone of my airplane’s engine while on my flight to LA. ( I couldn’t stop harmonizing with it ) The drone was nearly an F, so we put that recording down first and built the song around that. Jesse started playing guitar riffs and I sang a bunch of different melodies. Mikey and Zach helped sift through all of our weird random ideas we threw at them.”
On the track, a glitchy beat underlines airy vocals punctuated by a robotically tight guitar riff. After a head-spinning drum fill, the swooning refrain dissolves into a wild squealing synth solo. Steeped in new romantic melody with dancefloor-ready swagger and arena rock ambition at the same time, the hook instantly captivates, Do I remember? How could I forget you’ve always been a great pretender.
It arrives on the heels of the fan favorite Hazy. The latter has just begun to pick up steam on DSPs.
Excitement continues to grow for more from the duo…

The group has quietly emerged as an outlier presence with its enticing and entrancing hybrid of danceable grooves, artful instrumentation, and universally powerful pop hooks. They have generated over 50 million cumulative streams and dropped their independent debut 
Heathen EP in 2021. At the same time, they’ve also packed houses coast-to-coast on tour.

This release paves the way for a whole lot more to come from 
HOKO in 2023.
Like a wild flickering image projected in widescreenHOKO stretch alternative into 360-degree pop. The New York duo—Nathaniel Hoho [vocals] and Jesse Kotansky [guitar]—invite immersion into layers of rich soundscape architecture and hypnotically hummable hooks. Painting in broad strokes of psychedelia and rock, they unearth an uncategorizable and undeniable sound equally malleable and magnificent in its execution. Making a choice to pursue his passion full-time, Central Pennsylvania native Nathaniel honed his chops on the streets, traveling from one college and beach to another, busking to survive, and sleeping in the car. Eventually, he settled in Brooklyn where he first crossed paths with Jesse at a barbecue. A world-class musician, Jesse shined as a Balkan violinist throughout his childhood, traveling to Turkey at six-years-old to perform and, eventually, playing with a myriad of artists. Inspired by David Bowie, Queen, The Smashing Pumpkins, Tame Impala, The Strokes, The Beatles, and The Beach Boys, the pair hit it off and “started experimenting with new sounds in a pop space.” The guys caught the attention of EQT and signed in 2020 as OK OK” impacted radio and reeled in over 4.9 million Spotify streams, paving the way for their independent EP Heathen. Highlighted by fan favorites “Candy Eyes” and Hellogoodbye (which fellow alternative maverick PVRIS officially remixed), the band continued to gain traction in between performing with X Ambassadors and more. Generating streams in the tens of millions, this vision comes into focus like never before on a series of 2023 singles for EQT Recordings/Republic Records introduced by Hazy.