hard.times is Matt Aasen (guitar), Rob Elo (keyboards), Steven Taddei (bass), and Jesse McNeill (Drums); musicians with a serious passion for rhythm. With backgrounds in jazz, pop, ska, soul/RnB, and progressive metal, they seek to meld many of the aforementioned genres to create something that is truly unique.
The group’s sound is primarily based in quintuplet swing: a feel that is most often electronically-generated. While a lot of music in the experimental-jazz-fusion genre can alienate audiences with free-time or atonal harmony, hard.times’ goal is to create music that is pleasing to the ear; rhythmically complex and experimental, but presented with familiar chords and a tight groove that the listener can understand and enjoy.
hard.times released their debut EP, Portland, in 2019; a live-off-the-floor album in 2020; the single ‘Clean Dancing’ via Inner Ocean Records in 2021; and is gearing up for a third release, 'After A Year', in 2022. The members of hard.times are both jazz/hip hop artists able to perform in a live setting, and composers of groovy, atmospheric beats to be used on playlists, as background music for content creators, or on film.
The band makes music in three formats: instrumental jazz, lo-fi beats, and neo-soul with R&B vocalist Lady Phyl.