Nashville foursome COIN seem intent on becoming the newest addition to today’s indie pop/rock A-list. Their eponymous EP, a 3-song sneak-peak at their full-length debut out June 9th via StarTime International, finds the band meddling in the same field as 2014 breakouts Wolf Gang, The Colourist, Magic Man, Bad Suns, American Authors and Smallpools, among others. The combined 10 1/2 minutes of “Run,” “Fingers Crossed” and “Better” paint a guitar-driven, synth-swathed canvas of catchy, feel-good vibes masking deep and meaningful imagery that, if grasped, will leave listeners emotionally and mentally sated.
The band’s mix of anthemic, hard rock beats and cleverly filtered vocals are proof that COIN are having lots of fun with their debut record – after all, they’ve got Jay Joyce (Cage the Elephant, Sleeper Agent) in their production room – but it’s lead vocalist Chase Lawrence’s effortlessly-executed octave-jumping vocals and expressive intonations that affirm this band’s level of passion and sincerity.
Listen: “Run” – COIN
Synth-pop has been all the craze ever since Passion Pit mixed the male soprano with an equally wailing pad on 2009’s Manners, but COIN offer more than your run-of-the-mill knockoff. “Run” mixes a classic, pulsing rock guitar with an 80s-inspired keyboard riff, throws today’s beloved vocal “ohs” into a beefed-up chorus, and adds just enough Nashville grit and harmony to make something unique and special. Listen closely to the song and you’ll uncover layers of well-crafted production technique and inspired musicianship: This level of musicality does not happen overnight, and COIN deserves praise for their dedication to their craft.
A quick note about album art: The band’s EP art depicts, in chic grayscale tones, three adjacent symbols: A shoe (for “Run”), a hand with intertwined digits (for “Fingers Crossed”), and a trophy (for “Better”). The simple, yet elegant depiction of the EP’s three tracks is a playful reminder of the band’s cheerful music. Representative of COIN’s minimalistic branding, the EP art is a refreshing in its design. Meanwhile, its colorless character exists in stark contrast to the band’s very colorful, exciting music: Such juxtaposition in differing mediums is welcomed, and though it does not serve any direct purpose, the difference is worth some food for thought.
Listen to COIN’s EP and you’ll understand why this band is deserving of my rambling praise. This EP is worth every nickel! Seriously, you’ll get a solid penny for their thoughts!
I’ll coin more cents-less banter for COIN’s full-length album review in June. At the moment I’m giving the band a 7.5/10 (or three quarters) rating on their teaser EP for solid and promising content. Their music has a lot of character, but it risks getting swallowed up by the already-established indie pop/rock A-list before it achieves the same status. That said, the COIN EP is a long-awaited release and I will be hotly anticipating their album debut in June.
For now, the second that the COIN EP’s final track, “Better,” ends, my music player repeats the EP starting with “Run,” followed by “Fingers Crossed,” followed by “Better,” followed by “Run” again… and so on and so forth. I fear this endless repetition may continue for the next three and a half months until COIN release their full-length album – I’ve been known to obsess over great new music.
Final Verdict: Pay close attention to COIN. This is most definitely an artist to watch over the next year, and the band has my vote of confidence.
Recommended if you like: Smallpools, Magic Man, Wolf Gang, The Colourist, Bad Suns, Passion Pit, American Authors, Royal Teeth