In 2013, 18-year-old musician/songwriter Hannah D’Amato fled her Southern California suburban home. Disillusioned by the ubiquitous garage and psych rock casualties that polluted her local music scene and a healthy teenage desire to flee the nest, D’Amato set her sights on New York City. After several months of just scraping by and spending most of her time down in her Brooklyn basement practice space, D’Amato applied to the Berklee School of Music in Boston. In the middle of her audition, a member of the all-white male panel silently approached and turned the volume down on her guitar amplifier. D’Amato left the audition and vowed to never return to the campus again.
Weeks later, she declined her acceptance into Berklee and doubled down on her commitment to forming her own group. Working as a nanny, D’Amato soaked in everything New York had to offer, playing in bands, developing a session side hustle, and forming the first incarnation of Fake Fruit. Rambling on to Vancouver B.C. in 2017 she found herself immersed in a fevered state of hypergraphia, writing several songs a day. The second iteration of Fake Fruit was born, now a trio, the Vancouver lineup was instrumental in helping to build the framework around her songs. After dozens of shows and some false starts at making a record, D’Amato, seemingly averse to any sense of comfort, found herself again pining for change.
After moving to the Bay Area, she found herself at a spaghetti party (don’t ask) where she struck up a conversation with guitarist Alex Post, an Arthur Russel obsessive who made elaborate ethereal guitar instrumentals. A few weeks later, a chance encounter upon arrival at a New Year’s Eve party led drummer Miles MacDiarmid to open the door for D’Amato. Remembering the description she had been given of him when asking around about drummers (very tall, with a dangly earring and dark brown, Ian McCulloch-esque hair) she greeted him laughing “I know this is weird to say, but I think you’re supposed to be in my band”. The three hit it off immediately and became the third and current incarnation of Fake Fruit. Supported by a revolving cast of bass players akin to Spinal Tap drummers, Martin Miller contributed bass duties to the record, Trey Flannigan of Pardoner joined in from time to time as well as Dylan Allard of Freak No Hitter.
With renewed vigor, Fake Fruit joined recording engineer Andrew Oswald to collaborate on what would become their self-titled debut. D’Amato’s journey is detailed by her range of vocal affectations; acidic and confrontational, withdrawn and unamused, sweet and sorrowful. The arrangements bounce and sway with Post’s chorused guitar jabs, Miller’s rolling bass lines, and MacDiarmid’s relentlessly energetic drumming.
Against all odds, Fake Fruit’s self-titled debut was released 3/5/2021, on Sonny Smith’s Rocks in Your Head Records. Despite the global pandemic’s impact on live music, Fake Fruit have still managed to turn heads, earning accolades from the likes of Bandcamp, Brooklyn Vegan, Post-Trash, and more.