: In the background, you can see the four boys on stage. The Stubbs logo behind them as they play beneath the stage lights. In the foreground, there is a white title. The band’s name Hardcastle is curved downward, and beneath it the words “Kings of Nothing.”

Hardcastle: Introducing the “Kings of Nothing”

By Zoe Elter
Music Journalist

I’ve always had an agreement with myself that I’d never skip out on the opening act of a show. This promise has led me to many artists that have become staples in my music library. Not only does arriving early assure that you will have a great spot to witness all of the action, but it can open the door to a new artist obsession that you didn’t even know you needed. That is exactly what Hardcastle was for me.

I was a high school senior when my best friend and I went to see the band CAMINO at Stubbs in Austin. Being avid fans of the band, we decided to get there as early as possible.

            We didn’t know much about the opener. The name Hardcastle flew over our heads without much thought. But when the band took the stage, and the opening riffs of “Invisible” began to play, I fell in love almost instantly.

You can see the four boys on stage. The Stubbs logo behind them as they play beneath the stage lights.
Hardcastle on stage, opening for The Band Camino at Stubbs in Austin. Photo by Zoe Elter

            Hardcastle, made up of Val Hoyt (guitar), Noah Christian (bass) and the brothers Graham (vocals) and Miles Laderman (drums), are based out of Nashville, Tennessee. Over the years that they have been making music, they have released various singles and a two-track EP called This Side or the Other, which contains their songs “Does Somebody Love You” and “King of Nothing”.

Hardcastle states on their website that they aim to “build a name for themselves off of authentic and personal songs that have come from hours of hard work and introspection.” Hardcastle’s songs are authentic to a fault, so there is no need for the band to hide behind gimmicks when being themselves is what makes them amazing.

            The boys of Hardcastle, as I’ve come to know them over the past two years, are lyrically sound. Their 2019 release, “Mundane,” managed to take a spot in my most played songs of 2019 on Spotify. It is packed full of clever lyrics like “I wanna move my body but my limbs are numb/ so I’m soaking up the static on the 101/ trying to break through.” And the thought they placed behind every detail of this song definitely makes it worth the listen.

The band’s most recent single “What If I’m Happy” is one of my favorite songs at the moment, and like all of Hardcastle’s songs, it doesn’t disappoint. The moment I heard the song I felt like I was listening to a soundtrack of my own life. They make it very easy for  you to relate to their music, pulling inspiration from their own struggles.

Graham, Miles, Val and Noah make sure to keep their fan base in the loop constantly. They even go as far as sending some of their most dedicated listeners early access to their songs. They actively communicate with their listeners and going to one of their shows feels more like hanging out with close friends than anything else.


There are three young girls, the fans of the band. And the boys of the band posed and smiling for a photo.
My friends and me with Hardcastle at their self-headlined show. Photo by Maride Espada

Not only do they make great music, but they also know how to put on a great show. Every time I see them live, I am never disappointed. Whether it’s playing new songs that haven’t been released yet or fan favorites, they make sure to engage their audience. These boys are passionate about their music and it shows when you put them up on a stage.

Graham is up on stage with a black and white electric guitar in his hands. He’s wearing all black as red tinted stage lights shining on him.
Lead Vocalist Graham Laderman playing at Hardcastle’s headline show in Austin. Photo by Zoe Elter

If you’re in the market for a new band to listen to, I recommend Hardcastle without question. Their new single “Growing Pains” was released last week.

Featured Image By Zoe Elter

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