Hank & Cupcakes have been making music for over a decade, but it took moving to Brooklyn to put them on the map.
Formed in Israel more than a decade ago, the Williamsburg-based boy-girl bass and drums duo decided that in order to do what they love right, they needed to leave.
“The music industry where we come from is more challenging, less diverse and less open-minded,” said Sagit Shir, better known as Cupcakes.
Shir’s husband, Ariel Scherbacovsky, the “Hank” of the outfit, added, “We wanted to leave Israel and go to a new place to do new things. We figured New York would be amazing for that.”
The two chose correctly. Since moving here nearly two years ago, the duo have attracted attention for their infectious dance music, heard on their self-titled EP, released last month, and in their energetic live show.
It’s been easy to catch them live, too; when not touring the globe, the two play here almost constantly, with at least one show a week if they can swing it (they achieve that next week, with a show outside the Lovin’ Cup Cafe in Williamsburg on June 21 and then again in the neighborhood on June 23 at Brooklyn Bowl).
“The shows are the center of excitement in our lives,” said Cupcakes, who handles the drums and vocals, while Hank’s on the bass.
Cupcakes also is responsible for the lyrics, which pull from her everyday experiences in Brooklyn. The New Wave dance track, “Ain’t No Love,” for instance, was the first song Cupcakes wrote upon moving to New York, inspired by the “experience of weird alienation here, riding the subway and people not making eye contact, which was weird or me to get used to,” said Cupcakes. “Now, I’ve learned to be part of the crowd.”
On stage, at least, she can’t help but stand out, with her explosive, commanding voice and overt sexuality (despite her cutesy nickname, this is a woman who penned the track “Pleasure Town,” a funk-disco enthused “Love Shack”).
When they play Brooklyn Bowl this month, they look to “rock the stage really hard and hopefully burn the place down,” said Cupcakes. Don’t be surprised if they do.
Hank & Cupcakes outside Lovin’ Cup Cafe [93 N. Sixth St. between Wythe Avenue and Berry streets in Williamsburg, (718) 302-1180], June 21 at 2 pm, free, and Brooklyn Bowl [61 Wythe Ave. between N. 11th and N. 12th streets in Williamsburg, (718) 963-3369], June 23 at 9 pm, free. For info, visit www.hankandcupcakes.com.