“Sincere Meets Aggressive”: COIN’s Chase Lawrence on the Band’s Intimate Upheaval, “You Are the Traffic”

COIN band music 2020
COIN’s Chase Lawrence dives into their spellbinding song “You Are the Traffic,” an intense, dramatic outpouring of dynamic alternative rock spilling out of the deepest crevices of the soul. It’s the first offering from their upcoming ‘Indigo-Violet’ EP, out October 22, 2020.
Stream: “You Are the Traffic” – COIN




The idea of transparency in production and songwriting isn’t foreign for me, but I forgot how simple it was to convey an idea when you get to the heart of it.

COIN’s new track is utterly spellbinding – an intense, dramatic outpouring of dynamic alternative rock spilling out of the deepest crevices of the soul.

From its heartfelt, somber beginning to its passionate, stunning chorus and beyond, “You Are the Traffic” is a truly epic overhaul of sound and feeling. It’s something of a left turn for the Nashville trio of Ryan Winnen, Joe Memmel, and Chase Lawrence – one that reaffirms their talents and reminds us never to assume, or put artists into boxes.

You Are the Traffic - COIN

You Are the Traffic – COIN

Everyone still looks the same
Except you
And the kids are running faster now
But they’re not moving
And how come everyone is in the way
Except you?
And we’re frozen in the fast lane
Where are we going?
Hey, what can I say?
I keep splitting in two
Hey, what a mistake
There’s no me without you

Released September 18 via AWAL, “You Are the Traffic” arrives as the first offering from the band’s forthcoming Indigo Violet EP (October 22), itself part one of a trio of EPs entitled The Rainbow MixTape.

Rainbow MixTape is a series of EPs organized by color, theme, and sound,” Lawrence tells Atwood Magazine. “We found ourselves delving into uncharted territory — new thoughts, new tools, and rediscovering old influences. We threw the COIN playbook out the window. This is 2020, and we should challenge our philosophy and show the world more of who we are. “Indigo Violet”, thematically, portrays oneness, patience, & circularity. Sonically, we leaned toward our love of early 2000s music.”

This is 2020, and we should challenge our philosophy and show the world more of who we are.

COIN Let It All Out in Third Album ‘Dreamland’

:: INTERVIEW ::



With COIN’s celebrated third album Dreamland barely eight months out, the band have charged ahead with a confident and spirited resolve. There is so much to love about the heartache, loss, and change that ricochet throughout “You Are the Traffic” – from the range of its composition, to the energy COIN inject into the moment – yet perhaps what stands out the most is Chase Lawrence’s dazzling delivery. The frontman gives his full self to the music, leaping from his cool tenor to a feverish falsetto as he swings through a heart-on-sleeve chorus. He commands attention in “You Are the Traffic,” embodying the turbulent and turmoil his words so seamlessly evoke.

Everyone’s in the way
Except you
Problem solved
I guess I get too focused on when I arrive
Careful now
I guess it isn’t up for me to decide
If I get some color on my cheeks
Hey, what can I say?
I keep splitting in two
Hey, what a mistake
Oh, there’s no me without you

An Atwood Editor’s Pick, “You Are the Traffic” is an invitation to dwell in our darkest depths. It’s an unfiltered scream into the ether, as bittersweet as it is truly beautiful.

In a fractured world, this song is fracture manifest. Brokenness and instability come to life in a heated power ballad that wants nothing more than an ever-elusive sweet release. Born out of dark emotions, “You Are the Traffic” is a sweet sparkle of light.

“Why would we make music today?” Lawrence reflects. “We had to reconfigure how and why we write songs. I’ve never seen the world face such collective, tangible enemies. We felt heavy to address these issues at large. Indigo Violet hosts what it means to be human.”

“You Are the Traffic” is the beginning of something special; a rebirth and a renewal, a return to what matters most.

Indigo Violet is out October 22. Check in with COIN’s Chase Lawrence in our interview below.

The universe is one giant picture, and everything and everyone is a pixel. It’s all happening — we only need to notice.

You are the problem
You are the traffic
Oh god, I get so eager that
I lose sight of what’s in front of me
All I submit into this season
Why try to fight it?

— —

:: stream/purchase COIN here ::
Stream: “You Are the Traffic” – COIN


COIN © 2020

COIN © 2020

A CONVERSATION WITH COIN

Atwood Magazine: Chase, this song feels like a definitive high point in your career, and possibly a bold new chapter for COIN. Can you talk about the making of “You Are The Traffic” and how its deeply alternative sound came about?

Chase Lawrence: We played Reading and Leeds Festival in 2018. I heard this playlist of songs I had never heard before playing before DMAs – Stone Roses, Blur, deep Oasis & The Verve cuts. The crowd sang along to these songs like America screams “Sweet Caroline” at a baseball game. I was inspired to dive deeper and understand why I was so moved. The guitars, the orchestration, the drums… the production is see through, all right there in front of you. The idea of transparency in production and songwriting isn’t foreign for me, but I forgot how simple it was to convey an idea when you get to the heart of it.

Your vocals remind me of Thom Yorke's in Radiohead’s “High and Dry'” – very passionate, intensely intimate. How did you go about bleeding emotion into this performance?

Lawrence: Oh, wow! The vocals are close to, if not wholly, one take in front of the speakers. I turned my brain off and felt like I was performing, back and forth, between MSG & The End (a dingy little club in Nashville we played our first shows in).

Hey, what can I say? I keep splitting in two / Hey, what a mistake; there's no me without you.” What does the chorus' lyric mean to you?

Lawrence: I often find myself toeing the line between total ‘enlightenment’ and main character ‘delusion’. The universe is one giant picture, and everything and everyone is a pixel. It’s all happening — we only need to notice.

I often find myself toeing the line between total ‘enlightenment’ and main character ‘delusion’.

I love your imagery here – “And we're frozen in the fast lane, where are we going?” and “I guess it isn't up for me to decide if I get some color on my cheeks” are two favorites here. Was this one of the songs where the whole thing comes easily, or was this songwriting endeavor more of a long-haul process?

Lawrence: Thank you! The songwriting process was very simple and written mostly, ironically, while driving on the interstate.

The bridge is possibly one of the coolest parts of this song. How did this part come about? Did the making of this song open any new doors for you from a creative standpoint?
You are the problem
You are the traffic
Oh god, I get so eager that
I lose sight of what’s in front of me
All I submit into this season
Why try to fight it?

Lawrence: I found a new, but familiar, relationship with guitars this year. Sincere meets aggressive. It’s been fun to indulge my early childhood rock influences.

It's been mere months since Dreamland's February release. What holds up for you from that record today? What are your personal highlights?

Lawrence: I love Dreamland. It will always be my favorite collection of COIN songs. In a way, it’s like opening a time capsule. I love every second of it (for the nostalgia), but I still hold on to some very vulnerable moments. The clearest window into my ‘self’ is still heard in “Let It All Out (10:05)” — it’s very rare when melody, production, and lyric meld together into one emotive and complete thought. And sometimes, I still turn on “Valentine”!

How do you feel “You Are The Traffic” and your new EP Indigo-Violet relate to the preceding record? What's new about COIN this time around that we perhaps didn't hear that much of back in February?

Lawrence: Why would we make music today? We had to reconfigure how and why we write songs. I’ve never seen the world face such collective, tangible enemies. We felt heavy to address these issues at large. Indigo Violet hosts what it means to be human.

Why The Rainbow MixTape? This trio of EPs seems to chart COIN's course for the foreseeable future; I'd love to hear more about why a trilogy, and what it is that does and doesn't connect these songs?

Lawrence: Rainbow Mixtape is a series of EPs organized by color, theme, and sound. We found ourselves delving into uncharted territory — new thoughts, new tools, & rediscovering old influences. We threw the COIN playbook out the window. This is 2020, and we should challenge our philosophy and show the world more of who we are. “Indigo Violet”, thematically, portrays oneness, patience, & circularity. Sonically, we leaned toward our love of early 2000s music. “Green Blue” soon…

— —

:: stream/purchase COIN here ::
Stream: “You Are the Traffic” – COIN



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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com