Who Are We?
Head Cheerleader makes melodic, good-time rock n’ roll music with thoughtful, emotion-driven lyrics and bountiful sound. Led by guitarist Henry Prol (Copesetic, The Micks) and drummer Jay Van Dyke (Copesetic, The Lumineers) the songwriting duo invites a revolving list of guest players to join the party on lush recordings and during raucous, fiery live performances that draw the audience into its mysterious gravity. Bringing together as many as seven musicians at once on stage, Head Cheerleader’s playful, layered tunes are teeming with multiple guitars, organ, piano and resonant vocal harmonies.
The band’s debut EP is full of intricately-crafted tunes that puts a modern and often whimsical spin on the tradition created by legendary rockers like The Band, Tom Petty and The Rolling Stones and candid musical philosophers such as Bob Dylan, Neil Young and George Harrison. Full of both grit, sweet resonance and memorable riffs, each song explores human themes about forging meaningful relationships, sharing time on the planet and navigating life’s sometimes dark and painful waters with hopefulness and a sense of humor.
Originally from the New York City area, Jay and Henry now make their home in Hudson County. The pair met as young teenagers and embarked on their journey together as songwriting partners in the early 2000s. They continued to learn from each other as sidemen a variety of bands that ranged in style from rock, to pop, Americana/folk, the blues and everything in between. They eventually decided to combine their shared love of the technical aspects of recording and collaborative songwriting and arranging and started work on a recording project with the goal of making a record they could be proud of. With the help of talented producer and engineer Billy Perez, they took to the studio and began to work on what would become Head Cheerleader’s first EP. Excited to bring their dynamic work to the stage, Jay and Henry enlisted the help of their tight-knit inner circle of musicians who were eager to share the band’s music, message and energy.
Jay and Henry previously released two recordings as part of the group Copesetic. Head Cheerleader’s self-titled debut will be released September 9. The EP release will be marked by a Planned Parenthood fundraiser in downtown Jersey City, supported by five additional local acts.