Los Angeles based Indie Pop duo Coast Modern deserves your attention — and they’ll get it after you hear their debut album.
Members Luke Atlas and Coleman Trapp have been making music under the alias Coast Modern since 2015. With their debut single “Hollow Life,” a song about the backlashes of living in LA, they have been on the up since then. The band released a handful of singles, leading up to the release of their self titled debut album. The duo incorporates genres of psych pop, hip-hop, and indie rock into their tunes. People have certainly been eager to hear Coast Modern’s debut album, and it was worth the wait.
Their tropical, wavy sound makes for a great summer listen. Coast Modern’s music is without a doubt unique, taking influences from bands like the Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, & Weezer, to name a few. Their sound evidently draws influence from multiple eras of music. The vocals resemble a Matt Shultz type, resulting in comparisons to Cage the Elephant, Grouplove also. In an interview with the Daily Beat, Atlas said “I think part of the Coast Modern sound comes from embracing the music we loved when we were young, even if it’s not ‘cool’ now.”
The album runs 18 tracks long totaling 50 minutes of run time. The album is pulled together by whimsical, catchy interlude tracks such as “Honeybee,” and “Groovy.” The album closes with “Frost,” a beautiful, emotional, acoustic track. “You were there, by my side, said you’d never leave. I’ll be fine, it’s the Lord’s design, the way you lie to me,” he sings. It’s as if you’re on the beach, sand between your toes, having a campfire. It ends the album similarly to how Post Malone ended Stoney with “Feeling Whitney.”
These two were very ambitious on this album, and did a great job of not overdoing anything production wise. The synths flow naturally & aren’t forced. The instrumentals are simplistic and catchy. They continuously switch it up throughout the album. That doesn’t bode well for some albums, but this one came out successfully cohesive. The biggest production complaint I have was the unnecessary amount of air horn noises on “Pockets Full Of No.” They didn’t need to be there at all. “Pogs and Slammers” has a grungy vibe with repetitive lyrics and a heavy rhythmic guitar. It’s adds more versatility to the album, but it ends too abruptly.
The duo’s album is infused with a wide range of themes and feelings. Going from being young, experiencing and losing love, relationships. From euphoric to heartbroken. The opening track “Going Down” is feel-good California surf rock jam with a crisp guitar sound. The song’s tempo changes smoothly back and forth throughout the song. “Tiny Umbrella” takes a more somber approach lyrically, singing about post-breakup emotion and coping with the feeling. The song’s production, however, has an upbeat feel to it with the wavy sound that’s carried through the entirety of the song.
Coast Modern has branded themselves colorfully. Their graphics are designed beautifully, with vivid color schemes and irregular shaping patterns. Fitting, since they’re from LA.
Coast Modern’s debut album is something they should be very proud of. It demonstrates their intentions and accurately portrays what having fun creating music should sound like. Most groups don’t have the ability to be this versatile and execute it with precision. For how many genres that were instilled in the album, it runs seamlessly. They have left me wanting to hear more. Obvious improvements can be made, but they have a solid album to base themselves off of. Coast Modern is a group that people will want to remember, because they’re going to be doing big things in the years to come.
- “Hollow Life”
- “Comb My Hair”
- “Tiny Umbrella”
- “The Way It Was”
You can stream Coast Modern’s debut album above.
Overall rating: 6.8/10
If you want to learn more about Luke and Coleman individually, read this exclusive interview done by Boston University’s very own Neelu Mohaghegh with Coast Modern here.