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  • Writer's pictureRachael Keller

And the Winner of Battle 2024 is...



This year’s Battle presented a diverse group of talent for the judges to delegate on. From rap, to R&B, to screamo, to classic rock this year’s judges saw it all, but there can only be one winner. 2024’s Battle winner and opener for Movin’ On 2024 is Hot Fudge Yacht Club. 


The group highlights three Penn State students: third years Alex Aumen and Chase Gleason, and fourth year Max Harris. The group has a dynamic funk-jam sound and is thrilled to be able to take the stage at Movin’ On.


The group first came together last fall, so it is a relatively young band at less than a year old. Gleason and Aumen first met when they were in a Grateful Dead cover band together. Gleason also knew Harris through a model railroad club, and he had seen that he was good on drums.


Harris said that he and Gleason hung out over the summer and began to work on some music, and this ultimately led to the completion of their group. 


“We were done playing and I said, ‘I really want us to be a band’,” Harris said. “It’s been magically funky ever since.”


With their time in the Grateful Dead cover band and some experimental sounds Aumen and Gleason found their love for jambands and funk, which then inspired their sound. 


Aumen said that they wanted to make this sound into a band that is fun to play with and palatable to larger audiences - but his main emphasis was making this band happen while having fun.   


The group’s unique name, “Hot Fudge Yacht Club,” was crafted from a notes app page in Gleason’s phone. The group said that he knew he wanted it to be “something something Yacht Club”, and this sparked the idea of “Hot Fudge” as the beginning of their name. 


“We probably have about two hundred text messages back and forth on different band names,” Aumen said. “Magically, he came up with that one.”  


The group agreed that Battle was a great opportunity to get recognition for local artists, therefore they wanted to participate. They said that they have seen many local bands go onto the Battle stage, Gleason even competing in some, and that experience has been “inspiring.” 


“There’s a huge audience for local music in house shows and smaller, local events that most local people don’t know about,” Gleason said. “So having the opportunity to play on the Movin’ On stage will show people that side of the local culture.”


The group said that their next few weeks in preparation for Movin’ On will consist of  “a lot” of practice and creating new music to take to the stage and give to their fans. 


“The music scene has meant so much to me to be able to play at a Penn State sponsored event but also to a much larger crowd is a huge honor,” Harris said. “My two best friends and I, taking the stage.”


Listen to Hot Fudge Yacht Club on SPOTIFY!

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