A compelling multi-colored tapestry of sound and feeling, Coma Culture’s debut album ‘Camouflage’ is a vivid, visceral experience that not only sets the Young the Giant offshoot apart, but also gives them their own definitive edge.
Stream: “Coma Culture” – Coma Culture
For us, ‘Camouflage’ captures a mood and emotion. We really wanted the album to feel like a cohesive world that a listener can dive into.
A compelling multi-colored tapestry of sound and feeling, Coma Culture’s debut album is a vivid, visceral standout. Intimate and emotional, dynamic and deeply expressive, Camouflage comes to life through stunning melodies, moving lyrics, and evocative performances that cut deep into our human core.
I comb my hair I like it better this way
Stare in the mirror not a thing out of place
My clothes are tailored and so expensive
Walk to the bar heads will turn mouths will drop
It’s bittersweet when I’m trying to talk
The only focus is next year’s model
I’m a modern person with no much left to say
Millions of distractions just to camouflage decay
Just to buy another day in coma culture
– “Coma Culture,” Coma Culture
Released June 25, 2021 via Repost Network, Coma Culture’s debut album Camouflage has to be heard in order to be understood – and what a fantastic journey it turns out to be for all. The trio of Young The Giant’s longtime members Eric Cannata and Francois Comtois and producer/songwriter (and former Young the Giant tour manager) Jon O’Brien, Coma Culture first introduced themselves in mid-March through their debut single “Coma Culture,” a mesmerizing immersion of charming guitars, lilting melodies, and lush harmony-rich vocals that elevate the overall listening experience to brilliant heights. Leaning more towards Lord Huron’s ethereal folk rock aesthetic than the charged, driving indie rock of Young the Giant, Coma Culture are not to be missed or taken lightly – nor are they akin to U2 rebranding as Passengers for a stint: The band is its own special entity with a unique identity distinct from its members’ other projects. The band purposefully named themselves after the song (and not the other way around), explaining how the title felt like it fit the mood and themes of their art.
“Jon, Francois, and I have many shared influences including Broken Social Scene, Slowdive, The Cure, and Sparklehorse,” Eric Cannata tells Atwood Magazine. “Instrumentally, we were drawn to the Juno 106, piano, Silvertone guitars, and warbly tape machines to name a few. We each brought songs we had written and demoed separately to the first session. After listening to everything, we realized there were nine that lived in the same world, three songs from each member. We then spent time producing and finishing each song, and ended up writing the track “Always” in the studio altogether. Each member played a myriad of instruments on the record, as there are no set roles within the band.”
A record that pre-dates the pandemic, but ultimately found its footing during this difficult time, Camouflage is an album of both connection and isolation. Its themes range from longing and desire, to introspection and nostalgic reflection, and far beyond. “Camouflage was written over the course of many years and assembled during a strange and transformative time in all of our lives,” Cannata explains. “Recording, mixing and living with these songs helped to keep us grounded, even as the world seemed to be falling apart. We hope people can find joy, comfort and solace while listening to this album the same way we did while making it.”
We wanted to make an album that gives the listener a feeling of nostalgia, comfort in the present, and excitement for the future.
“This record is a culmination of years of friendship and musical collaboration,” Cannata adds. “Jon, Fran and I each brought demos of new and old songs to the first session at Jon’s Music Box Studios in Fullerton, CA. We then dove into those demos, looking for a through-line. After the songs that belonged together started showing themselves, we dove into creating the sonic worlds for each one, often returning to familiar instruments that would bring the album together. We did around 9 sessions in the span of late 2019, into early 2020, finishing the record during quarantine.”
“I think the vision going into this record was to have an open mind, and it definitely shifted as the songs started coming together. Once we had an overall theme and feeling in our mind, we were able to hone in on the sound and mood. Each song required a slightly different approach, and each member was a chameleon switching off instruments and roles. For us, Camouflage captures a mood and emotion. We really wanted the album to feel like a cohesive world that a listener can dive into. Each member brought their own perspective, songwriting, production, and taste into the recording process.”
The album’s title Camouflage is taken from the chorus lyric in the song “Coma Culture”: “I’m a modern person with not much left to say, millions of distractions just to camouflage decay.” “We liked the idea that a record can also be a good distraction from the pains of existence,” the band explain.
An escape and indulgence all in one, Coma Culture’s music offers a deep dive into the self. The band explore heavy topics and personal life events without isolating listeners, and everything maintains the aura of a three-dimensional experience – with multiple lessons and emotions to be felt at any single second in time. From the dazzling opener “Coma Culture” to the beachy explosion of intimate bliss on radio single “In Love,” to the poignant themes of young love and addiction in “Martha” and beyond, Camouflage is as fresh as it is impassioned.
Personal highlights abound for the band, however Cannata cites writing the song “Always” as one of his favorite memories of the album process. “It’s the only song on the record we wrote in the studio from scratch altogether. I love how each member sings a verse, and how the song builds,” he explains.
Another special moment comes in the lyrics of “Everyday Dirt,” a hushed song with muted pianos, soft vocals, and a lush, delicate soundscape. “’We need to ask ourselves what we forgot about under the dirt and grime.’ Jon wrote these lyrics about the dirt and grime that builds up in everyone’s lives. The way I interpret it is that everyday dirt is the endless list of chores, and distractions that pile up and stop us from being present and enjoying life. I think this song is a good representation of Coma Culture, because although it is talking about the weight of the everyday dirt, there is hope by the end in finding peace in the everyday.”
Whether you look to music for emotional sustenance or entertainment, both, or something else entirely, Coma Culture are here to enchant and immerse their audience in musical delights. Their songs are steeped in meaning, while taking the ears on kaleidoscopic adventures full of rich sounds and catchy, memorable moments. By the time the vibrant album closer “100 Years” comes to its resounding end, the band have journeyed (and by extension, we have gone) through sweet highs and moody, intimate lows – embracing the past, present and future, our regrets and hopes, and so much more. Coma Culture is, in so many ways, a feeling; a mood; a sense of movement and stasis, wandering and wondering.
“I hope people connect with the lyrics and themes of the record, and feel wrapped in a weighted blanket while listening. I would advise listening to the record from start to finish,” Cannata shares. “From creating this record, I have learned from working with Jon and Francois. Seeing how they approach lyrics, melody, production, etc… I have taken away a deeper appreciation for our friendship and creative collaboration. Putting this record out feels right. Although we each brought our own songs to the table, we dove into each with care, and I feel they were all meant to live on a record together. I am very excited for people to hear it in its entirety.”
Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Coma Culture’s Camouflage EP with Atwood Magazine as the band goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of their debut album!
Stream: ‘Camouflage’ – Coma Culture
:: Inside Camouflage ::
Fran: Coma Culture was written in the middle of a tour during a polar vortex. I was trying to reflect on the ways that I distract myself from negative emotions by relying on outside stimulation. The song never moves beyond acknowledgment of the problem but I think it’s an important first step.
Eric: In Love is a celebration of the joy and spontaneity that can come with a new relationship. I was inspired by my girlfriend, road trips, rainbows, and blooming flowers. I wrote the song a couple years ago, and then finished it with the help of Jon and Francois. I used the Stratocaster I’ve had since I was 17 to record the guitars, and Jon and Fran added an amazing Juno synth arpeggio that really tied the production together. We wanted the recording to sound magical and joyful.
Jon: Martha is a story of young love, addiction, and the dissonance between the two. The song is about waking up and trying to break through the haze of addiction. Making a change for the person you love the most, even if for just one day. It’s a moment of clarity and hope that things can change for the better.
Fran: Bad Habits was one of the first full songs I wrote when I was able to set up a home studio for myself. I had just come back from months on tour and my relationship with my wife was one of the few things in my life keeping me grounded. Wanting to improve yourself for someone else may not be the most healthy thing but it can be very effective. At least it has been for me.
Jon: Hotel is a song inspired by late night cross-state drives in a tour van. It’s meant to feel hazy and intoxicated, as if you just woke up from a deep sleep and don’t know where you are yet. The song references how we used to trade off shifts driving in the car, listening to quiet music while the others slept in the back, while on the way to the hotel.
Fran: Changes was written after I suffered a loss in my life. I’ve always struggled with change but over the past few years I’ve tried to keep myself focused on the present as a way to deal with that. The pre-choruses feel like a question that’s answered in the chorus with it’s focus on simple pleasures.
Jon: Always was the only song we collectively wrote, from scratch, while in the studio. Eric picked up a bass and spontaneously sang “I like what you did with your hair”. It inspired us to all write a verse about our significant others starting with that lyric. It’s a fun way to use all our voices in one song. The song evolves in a very patient way with a nice payoff at the end.
Don’t Wanna Die Young
Eric: Don’t Wanna Die Young is my ode to growing older, and living a slower paced life. There are so many songs that talk about living fast, and dying young, and I felt this was a good opposite to that sentiment. As I get older, I really cherish my time at home, and live a generally more relaxed, slower paced life. This song is my nod to that lifestyle, and feeling comfortable enough with myself to not fear missing out on anything.
Jon: Everyday Dirt is about the pile of unfolded laundry in your bedroom, the instrument you keep wanting to learn to play but never do, the things in life that seem to hold you back. It’s a strong look at finding what truly makes you happy, and shedding the things that no longer do. Dig it up, dust it off, find yourself again.
Eric: 100 Years is a song about living in the present moment, and not taking everything too seriously. When put into perspective the short amount of time we have on this planet, the little things that affect us can start to feel insignificant. This song is a toast to enjoying the present moment, and to not letting the little things get to us.
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📸 © Kelly Victoria
:: Stream Coma Culture ::