Levitation: The Coathangers Thrill and Thrash at Barracuda



The Coathangers, a punk rock band from Atlanta, headlined at Barracuda on a Friday during Levitation. First thing that comes to mind when you think of a  coat hanger? If you’re thinking DIY abortions, you got it. This 3 piece female outfit arrive at the venue early to sound check and shoot the shit. Meredith, the bassist, and Stephanie, on drums, were there to answer some questions. Check out the interview at the end of the article. 

They went on at 12:30am. The show was loud and fun and upbeat. Julia, lead vocalist and guitarist, takes the stage in a raspberry beret. One of the funky features of Levitation is the wild fashion that walked the streets. Everyone looks like they are in the band, and this weekend revealed that berets are back. 

They progress through the set with only a few pauses to laugh or banter between songs, or ask Karen to bring them all shots of tequila. The played mostly songs off their new album released this year, The Devil You Know. As the band loosens up with tequila, so does the audience begin to jump around and get hyped along just in time for “F the NRA,” an anthem that sounds exactly how it sounds. Fuck yeah. 

For the final songs, the ladies rotated instruments clockwise: Meredith moved to drums, Stephanie moved to vocals, Julia moved to bass for “5 Farms.” Stephanie on vocals was a visceral affair, her rapping raspy voice stirred the crowd into a mild mosh marked by jumps and stomps in unison. The audience shouts along to the liberating (and existential) chorus: “Can’t take it with you/ Nobody gets out alive.” 

Back to their own instruments, they close the set with “Bimbo” and Julia has now introduced a squeaky toy. She squeaks the squeaker how someone would bang a tambourine, the squeaks complementing the satirical nature of the song as she laughs maniacally with her bandmates. See the music video once, and you’ll wish you were in their band too. 

The Coathangers give their entire selves to the performance. You can see the spirit of music pulsing through them as individuals but also through the band as a greater entity from beyond the ether. Saturday night at Barracuda was one of the most alive lineups of Levitation, and these ladies killed it with a class of their own coathanger design. 

-Mel Green

Do you ever feel fear when releasing music or art out into the world? 


Meredith: Not really because we do it for ourselves.

Stephanie: No, fuck no. Everyone’s going to have an opinion and you can’t control that. 


Did you have to cultivate that feeling within you?


S: It’s with anything else, I guess. If you live your life based on what other people think about you, it’s not much. 


What advice do you have for young punks?


S:  Do whatever you want but be nice. 

M: Just be nice! 


What artists inspire you the most?


S: Jesus. The good lord, Jesus. 

M: Julia and Stephanie inspire me. 

S: Yeah, my other Coathangers. We were inspired to start the band because of a lot of local Atlanta bands back in the day. It was Predator, The Hiss, Black Lips, Dear Hunter, Mastodon. That’s what helped us get the idea to do what we do now. 


There’s a lot of music in Athens, too, right?


S: What we joke about back home is that Athens is the musicians, and Atlanta is for people in bands. So, they do drum circles and stuff there and we just get drunk and play shit.