Vanderbilt band Edgehill rocks EXIT/IN

The Music Room hosted Edgehill and others at historic EXIT/IN on April 5.


Claire Gatlin

Lead singer Chris Kelly jams out on stage, as photographed on April 5, 2022. (Hustler Staff/Claire Gatlin)

Justine Del Monte and Claire Gatlin

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Legit Smitty woos the crowd with gooey instrumentals, as photographed on April 5, 2022. (Hustler Staff/Claire Gatlin) (Claire Gatlin)

We didn’t expect to listen to Neil Young, OutKast and Hippo Campus on a Tuesday night, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Surrounded by murals of iconic artists like Willie Nelson and Linda Ronstadt, four Nashville acts took the stage on April 5 at EXIT/IN. Organized by The Music Room and Holy Moly Records, the show was headlined by Vanderbilt-based group Edgehill and featured local artists Legit Smitty, Cannon Hunt and Cōrt

Legit Smitty started off the set on an acoustic guitar, giving the rock venue an intimate feel. The performance featured many of the songs he recorded via voice memos while working at a summer camp, including heartbreak jam “Boots.” He got the whole crowd crooning after teaching the chorus to “Holy Sounds,” bringing the exact energy we needed for the acts ahead. His new release “Slow Down For a Minute” is available April 8. 

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Cannon Hunt boasts impressive vocals on the EXIT/IN stage, as photographed on April 5, 2022. (Hustler Staff/Claire Gatlin) (Claire Gatlin)

Kicking off strong with a rendition of “After the Gold Rush,” Cannon Hunt brought the perfect balance of power and folk to EXIT/IN. You wouldn’t expect someone who could so effortlessly emulate Neil Young to later jam out to a song entitled “Heavy Metal,” but Hunt did, and he did it well. The crowd was jumping just as easily as they were swaying to the more laidback moments of the set, exemplified in his song “Chaos of the Season.” Hunt will be putting out another single later this year.

Cōrt took the stage following Hunt, bringing high energy and getting the whole crowd moving. He began with “Willow” and “Wander,” incorporating electronic sound with heavy drumming. “Kilby Girl vibes” we thought as he kicked off his set—and then he actually played “Kilby Girl.” Between creative indie originals and covers of Foxygen and Hippo Campus, Cōrt brought a distinct persona and passion to the night. Cōrt’s EP “Blues & Greens” was released April 1 and his full-length album is set to come out later this year. 

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Cōrt lit up while performing original tunes, as photographed on April 5, 2022. (Hustler Staff/Claire Gatlin) (Claire Gatlin)

“The crowd was wonderful,” Cōrt said. 

Wonderful indeed, as the crowd thickened with Vanderbilt students eager to support the final act: Edgehill. Featuring first-time performances of singles like “Don’t Look Down” and electric covers such as “Brazil,” Edgehill established themselves as a fresh new sound. You’d never guess that this sound originated on Wyatt Lawn.

First-year Chris Kelly didn’t expect much out of The Music Room’s recurring lawn jam sessions. That was until he met senior and lead guitarist Jake Zimmerman. The two had slightly opposing musical interests, but their classic rock and John Mayer influences mixed surprisingly well—all that was left to find was the beat. 

“A kid was there with his whole drum kit outside Wyatt and I thought that was peculiar but awesome,” Kelly said.

After making quite the first impression on him, Kelly was eager to work with the drummer, but they lost touch. Kelly eventually stumbled across fellow first-year Jonathan Wilson on the way to Rand, and the group later connected with junior and bassist Andrei Olaru—the rest is history. 

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Edgehill performs their encore at EXIT/IN, as photographed on April 5, 2022. (Hustler Staff/Claire Gatlin) (Claire Gatlin)

The show gave the band the opportunity to put their full-bodied sound to life. They took songs thrown together in Sarratt and put them to the ultimate test at EXIT/IN, where they passed with flying colors.

“It was just electric, there was the perfect mix of great covers from songs that we knew really well and there were also some really great original songs that we were really eager to hear,” senior Eshan Patel said.

Most importantly, Edgehill got to live out the quintessential headlining experience—the fake exit. After jamming out to “Coming Undone,” they slyly exited the stage before finishing out the night with a crowd-bumping cover of “Hey Ya!” and original song “Someday.” 

With a single coming out in the next few weeks and a Bright Shade gig on the way, there’s so much more in store for Edgehill.