Here’s What You Need to Know About Wilmington Band Haha Charade

The four-piece indie rock band is bringing youthful energy to Delaware’s music scene.

Photo by Michelle Minner, courtesy of Haha Charade

If you’re looking for the etymology of Wilmington band Haha Charade’s name, allow them to refer you to the primary source material: Pink Floyd’s song “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” from 1977’s Animals, and a throwaway reference to the same tune used as a “you’ve been owned” taunt by Cartman on the animated series South Park.

But you won’t find any similarities to the former in the Wilmington band. The power-pop quartet’s original songwriting lends itself much more to the latter, with a South Park wink and nod, than to self-important 1970s prog rock. And honestly, who wanted another Pink Floyd cover band anyway?

Haha Charade, made up of Alex Wade and Justin Lefler on guitar and vocals, bassist/vocalist Matt Bowe and drummer Brendan McBride, in fact bears more resemblance to ’90s Weezer or Fountains of Wayne, bringing influences from across the spectrum of modern radio and blending them into a tasty smoothie of First State-based indie rock.

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Their lyrical chops and collective sense of humor are evident on both their 2019 EP We Are the Wolves and eponymous 2020 full-length release. For example, the song “Goodbye Juliet” takes the conundrum of dating someone who’s main appeal was aesthetics (“I never really liked you/I liked your silhouette”) and turns it into a playful, reggae-infused breakup tune.

Haha Charade also sports slick video production (no small thing in this social media-driven world) and a youthful energy currently absent in much of Delaware’s music scene.

And while the band’s touring schedule has been put on hiatus as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, they remain optimistic, with a second album in the works at Newark’s Occupy Studio, virtual performances beamed across social media and live performance dates tentatively booked for August and September.

Published as “The Secret is Out” in the July 2020 issue of Delaware Today magazine.

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