The Hip Abduction
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The Hip Abduction

Saint Petersburg, Florida, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

Saint Petersburg, Florida, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Alternative Pop


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The sunny shimmering suite of tracks on The Hip Abduction’s new Sun King EP were apparently influenced by legendary Zimbabwean musicians Oliver Mtukudzi and Thomas Mapfumo, both known for bringing outside influences into their culture’s traditional Shona music. The eight-piece St. Pete Beach-based ensemble fully introduces the Afro-beat vibe into their own brand of world rock with help from producer Jim DeVito (Donavon Frankenreiter) at Retrophonics Studio in St. Augustine, where they used vintage gear, recorded on analog tape and built the EP’s warm and lush sound.

The band ushers in the rich world textures with “Love Foundation,” a leisurely dub reggae number that sets the upbeat tone. Singer/songwriter David New delivers a seamless flow of sung-swallowed verses, the horn section carries the jaunty melodies and sometimes toots lead, the Afro-drenched twinkling of polyrhythmic guitar shines against the dub-deep pulses of bass, and multi-percussion textures and groove-oriented dance grooves run all throughout.

Breezy, pleasant, easy. In sum, an overall successful outing. - Creative Loafing

Members of this tight and energetic Pinellas band have laid stakes all over the world and bring to the party international traditions, rhythms and instruments. You could classify them as a "jam band" but the tunes are melodic and structured enough not to. - The Tampa Tribune

REAX Magazine: Album Spotlight

Tropicalia and jazz influences mingle with energetic drumming and quick-witted Caribbean references that make The Hip Abduction all the more enjoyable. It's very easy for bands who attempt to replicate the much-pretended but rarely achieved "world"? sound to fall into unlistenable cacophony, but The Hip Abduction successfully avoids that danger. Though billed as highly influenced by global music, The Hip Abduction's Move is most definitely Caribbean in its flavor and tempos. The band's name indicates the desire and tendency of the music to get you grooving, and its something that's hard to resist. Check them and their newest album out.

Chris Gaughan
REAX Magazine #33
February 2009

Hip Abduction, Im happy to say, sound especially groovalicous on their latest CD.

The rhythms slither and sway more demurely than a Shakira spasm but are plenty seductive.

The internationally flavored act (that may or may not be named after exercise equipment) includes David New on vocals and guitar; Chris Powers on bass; Andrew Kilmartin on drums; Patrick Hernly on drums, pan and congas; Matt Gawlik on sax, keys and flute; and Kevin Clark on trumpet, flugelhorn.

They just put out a 5-song EP that�s crisply recorded and smoothly executed.

For me, the horns work best. They add a magically sweet swirl through the funky reggae and African-inspired beats.

There are a few trademark jam band identifiers on �Move� � like resemblances to Sublime and lyrics with a patently freespirited vibe � it�s overall a pleasant listen and wholly hip-notic.

What�s more is the band puts on a hell of a booty-shaking show. Folks don�t stay still at a Hip Abduction show.

Even Shakira would dig it, and that bitch�s hips don�t lie! - St. Petersburg Times

The Hip Abduction self-released their first recording, Move, in late 2008. The well-produced five-song EP found the six-piece synthesizing elements of tropicalia, jazz, acoustic rock and blues, funk, Afrobeat and reggae into a sound that has the easy-going vibe of the Caribbean without ever coming off as sluggish. Springy beats are broken up by slow moving breakdowns and organic percussion; drummer Pat Hernly incorporates congas, timbales, hand kick, tabla, dholak, and cajon. Powers brings a steady dub-influenced groove on bass, keyboardist Paul Chlapowski plays fluid melodies and sonic flourishes, and the two-piece horn combo of Matt Gawlik on baritone sax and Kevin Clark on trumpet lifts up the music with spry brassiness. New delivers his breezy lyrics in warm, soulful streams-of-consciousness. “I live to write songs that take me back to somewhere else, some small nowhere island,” New tells me. “I guess it’s just ‘cause I lived there for so long, I have an affinity for the coast.”

All the members of The Hip Abduction work day jobs, but you can find them on multi-band bills around town as well as at the odd (well-paying) cover gig. For their regular three-set shows at Jimmy B’s on St. Pete Beach, they cater to the tourists and drunken beach denizens with covers by anyone from the Funky Meters to Sublime while throwing some of their originals into the lively mix.

The idea for the Nightmare at the Museum Bash came after New and Powers, who’s on the St. Pete Museum of History board, put their heads together and came up with the idea of a Halloween concert to raise money for the struggling museum. Powers organized the bill and suddenly, SPMOH was, for the first time ever, staging a hip-as-shit benefit. So far, more than 200 tickets have sold and the event is expected to sell out.

Partygoers will be treated to a night of costumed cavorting complete with fog machines, a light show and lasers, and some surprise covers (I predict a reggaefied “Thriller”). Rumor has it that The Hip Abduction guys will be decked out in Point Break bank robbery gear. If Richard Nixon ends up on bass, you know the party’s gonna get hairy. - Creative Loafing

The acoustic reggae jammers in The Hip Abduction sound like they just walked into a bar off the beach. Singer-guitarist David New, bassist Chris Powers, mulit-instrumentalist Matt Gawlick and percussionist Pat Hernley - all of whom have spent some time jamming in the Caribbean - bring a real Jack Johnson/ G.Love vibe to the part, but they have a soulful side too - the bongo bander GRINGO sounds like a Corona fueled smash waiting to happen. - The Herald

".....I have never seen so many people actually DANCING at this festival.....the reality and energy of their performance and the audience response blew me away!!" - WMRF RADIO

Hip-nappers: Patrick Hernley, drums and percussion; Paul Chlapowski, piano and keys; David New, guitars and vocals; Chris Powers, bass; Kevin Clark, trumpet; Matt Gawlik, bari sax and flute; and Matt Zettlemoyer, sax.

Why the name? "We hope to abduct and hiptify one crowd at a time," New said. "Honestly, I leave the name open to suggestion and wonder."

World on his back: Hernley provides much of the band's Afro-Caribbean and all-out multi-ethnic backbone, playing congas, timbales, hand kick, tabla, dholak and cajon. He toured with Slumdog Millionaire composer A.R. Rahman and also performed with him at the Nokia New Year's celebration in Mumbai.

Please don't call them a jam band: Despite worldly predilections and world-class skills, Hernley chafes at labeling Hip Abduction "world beat" or "jam," and intensely dislikes the word "fusion."

"Fusion has a connotation of dilution," he said. "World beat is a problematic term, and most world beat musicians are douchebags."

Filling things out: Keys and horns fully flesh out the spaces between words and beats, adding a hypnotic dreaminess and uplifting vibe to Hip Abduction's sway. Pianist/keyboardist Chlapowski, the most recent addition, joined the band in January. Though his experience has mainly been in classical piano, he says he has blended in both personally and artistically with his funkier bandmates. In fact, his playing earned a rare superior rating from a panel of judges at Eckerd College in the early '90s.

The singer: Singer and songwriter New creates a sensual mood for each tune, influenced heavily by his time spent in the Bahamas and traveling throughout South America from 2002 to '04. His favorite album is Paul Simon's Graceland, an influence that colors the band's composite of pop simplicity and tribal textures. "I try to write songs that are uplifting, even if the subject isn't necessarily uplifting," New said.

Cannibal course? Powers taught in Micronesia through a Harvard program, working in a village that practiced cannibalism until the 1950s.

New: "Did you eat human meat?"

Powers: "No, but I was told I played on a drum made with human skin."

- St. Petersburg Times


Live Ones EP
November 2012
Label: Homegrown

One Less Sound LP
November 2011
Label: Homegrown

Sun King EP
September 2010
Label: NJ Records

BAAMO Best of Compilation 2010
'Home Again' Single
Receiving airplay on over 350 radio stations worldwide. Also listed on SXSW festival compilation box set.



The Hip Abduction is a tropical indie pop band from St Petersburg, FL that weds African rhythms to western pop aesthetics. Their 2013 self titled release debuted on the Billboard charts and continues to top the iTunes charts. THA places heavy emphasis on African stringed instruments (kora, ngoni) and dub-reggae-inspired bass lines.  Formed on the Gulf Coast of Florida in 2010, the band’s high-energy performances continue to land them spots on major music festival lineups across the country.   

  • The 2013 self-titled album debuted #5 on the Billboard Reggae charts and #2 on the itunes Reggae charts.
  • Nominated best album of the year by The Pier Magazine and Homegrown
    Music Network. Won album of the year by HGMN. Produced by Michael
    Goldwasser (Matisyahu, Easy Star Allstars, Rebelution, The Green).
  • Shared stages with Ziggy Marley, 311, Umphrey’s McGee, Thievery
    Corporation, The Movement, Passafire, Easy Star Allstars, The Funky
    Meters, Dawes, Galactic, and MOE.
  • Currently working with producer Dabney Morris (Wild Cub) on their upcoming 2016 release.
  • 2014 Festivals appearances include Wanee, Orange Blossom Jamboree,
    Tropical Heat Wave, Big What?, and California Roots The Carolina
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars and nominated for best album of the year. The Pier Full Review
  • If you’re wondering which group of Florida’s upcoming Indie artists
    could be the first to break nationally, look no further than The Hip
    Abduction. They are already doing it. Tampa Bay Times
  • Breezy, good time groove-and-sway music mixing flavors of reggae, roots, funk, and Afro-beat into an intoxicating brew. Creative Loafing “Best Of” Issue
  • The band’s name indicates the desire and tendency of the music to get you grooving, and it’s something that’s hard to resist. Reax Magazine
  • I have never seen so many people actually DANCING at this
    festival…..the reality and energy of their performance and the audience
    response blew me away!! WMNF
  • The Afro-drenched twinkling of polyrhythmic guitar shines against
    the dub-deep pulses of bass, and multi-percussion textures and
    groove-oriented dance grooves run all throughout. Creative Loafing “Best Rock/World Fusion” winner

Band Members