Coasts are set to release their self-titled debut album on Friday (22 January) but you can hear the record in full now, exclusively via Q. Plus the Bristol band have written us a track-by-track commentary to the album you can read below now. “Our debut album is about optimism and trying to forget everything that isn’t important and focusing on living life to its fullest, in the moment,” explains singer Chris Caines. “We had been in bands before that hadn’t worked out and so we decided to hide ourselves away in order to fall back in love with playing music again. The songs on this album are an honest representation of the fears, excitement and love that we have experienced throughout the past 5 years of being Coasts. Each song is a snapshot of a particular time in that period – a documentation of the highs and lows that we’ve had as a band but more importantly as a group of friends that love making and playing music together.
Coasts – Coasts
We wanted the first track on the album to have an immediate impact and with Oceans beginning with a soloed vocal we thought that it was a bold statement to make. Oceans is about the delicate moments and eccentricities that allow you to fall for someone. There are moments where it is brooding and nostalgic in sentiment before exploding with freedom at the chorus. It was the first time that we felt like we had cracked exactly what we wanted to create and immediately knew that we’d written something special. The song came together really quickly. I tend to write a lot of my lyrics without having a song in place and I already had the words to the verses and breakdown when Liam brought the skeleton of Oceans along to a pre-studio practice session. It all fitted together, only taking an hour to finish.
Wolves is the last song written for the album and at that point we wanted something that would test our songwriting ability and also add an extra dimension and texture to the album. The song is in half-time, which is something we had never experimented with before and it adds an extra epicness to the track. The song is about absolute freedom and optimism, letting go of your inhibitions and relishing in the moment. When the song came together I got the same buzz that I felt when we’d written Oceans.
This song is about chasing your dreams and about the fears and joy that come with doing that. Being in a band can be pretty tough at each stage, from struggling at the beginning to being away from home whilst touring and so you need people around you that keep you grounded and your mind sane. We also wanted to use this song as a thank you to our fans who have helped us so much in getting us to where we are. The line in the song about us being underdogs is about accepting that you’ll need to hustle and work hard but in the end you can do anything you set your mind to.
We have such a broad range of musical influences and we didn’t want our album to fail in showcasing that and so Modern Love is one of those tracks that nods to our influences in electronic music. It would have been foolish for us to shy away from that just because we are a band with drums and guitars. Lyrically we were talking about how meeting and interacting with people has changed drastically with the advent of various social platforms. I wanted to present an account of that in neither a positive or negative way.
Lions is a really important song because it is one of the songs that we wrote that helped us move us out of a rut we were stuck in. We had been in bands before Coasts where we were stuck trying to write music that we thought would get us noticed and it wasn’t fulfilling us at all. When we decided to rip it up and start again, Lions was one of the songs that was born out of those early practice sessions. It is about being so infatuated with someone that you are almost living in a dream. I wanted the lyrics to have this beautiful poeticality and conjure lucid images to paint a picture of how that feels. It is my favourite track on the album.
This is the first song we ever wrote, although it has gone through many different forms since then. Over time we have become better at finishing off the great ideas that we have so that they aren’t just moments but whole songs. The song is about being young and carefree and not wanting that to end. I remember turning 16 and my friends were all getting cars. We used to drive around the streets blaring Kano so loud – just kids fooling around. I wanted a song on the album that harked back to those simpler times. During the recording process we experimented a lot with samples and the main riff in this song is actually my vocal chopped up, sampled and then played back in. It was a long process but I’m glad we persevered because I think it has helped give that riff a really distinct sound.
A Rush Of Blood
A lot of the album is really positive and although sonically this song is really euphoric and empowering, lyrically it is about insecurities I felt at the beginning of a relationship. It’s about coming to the realisation that no-one is perfect and that it really doesn’t matter. I wrote a lot of the lyrics when I was travelling and away from my girlfriend in the early stages of the relationship at a time when I was falling for her but I didn’t think she was reciprocating. The song took a long time to get it from demo to the studio and in that sense it is one of the most rewarding processes that we have been through as a band. Mike Spencer (the producer of this track) really helped us bring the song to life and taught us a lot about modern recording practices.
I wrote the lyrics to Your Soul at a time when I was being influenced by literature and particularly the poets and writers of the Beat Generation. I fell in love with the way that Jack Kerouac’s writing made me feel and I wanted to recreate that in one of our songs. The song is about being self-conscious and not wanting to grow apart from someone and the importance of resolving things before its too late. We were writing a lot with steel pans and marimbas at the time and we wanted a song that sounded like the height of summer. Your Soul is us at our most care free and feel good.
Wash Away is about trying to be optimistic when it seems like things are going wrong. It was written at a time when I was leaving Bristol and moving to London. The repetition and the way that the song rolls on through to the end ties in perfectly with the song title and the sentiment running through the lyrics. I also wanted to include a reference to Bristol, the city where I grew up and where the band formed, because it is a place that has had a huge influence on us. We love alt rock – bands like Brand New – and we had the idea of having this steadily building track that evolves into a huge crescendo of noise.
Tonight is about unity and togetherness and sharing amazing experiences with the people that you love. In that sense it is the perfect song to close the album. Along with Stay and Lions this is one of the earliest songs we wrote and it sums up what we want this record to be about. It was written in our first summer as a band when we had all been to festivals and it takes us back those moments, when you are fully embracing and living in the moment.
For more head to Coastsband.com.