From the first two-ish seconds of the song, everybody knows “Talk Too Much,” an overplayed classic first released in 2016. The full album of How Will You Know If You Never Try came out on Apr. 21, 2017, and still lingers on the radio. It’s a little repetitive, and it has been on repeat for years, but it’s the claim to fame for a band that’s musically similar to The 1975, Colony House, Bad Suns, Walk The Moon, (even) the Strokes, and other loud indie pop bands grounded in rock.
The sound of COIN is energetic, pulsing with bass lines and beats that never relax — the music changes throughout each song. Its introductions are usually simple and instrumental, which allows its songs to build. By the chorus of “Talk Too Much,” a lot is going on musically, even though it’s simple.
“Run” was its first single, released in 2015, and it has been on my running playlist for years and years. I have always been a fan, through the experimental EPs and pop-inspired hits. I was surprised when the announcement that COIN is performing at the spring concert was not met with massive enthusiasm.
While it’s a throwback at this point, “Talk Too Much” will make for a fiery live performance, and I’d guess some songs will be better live because of the energy in every track. Overlooked great songs from that early album include the bouncy tune “I Don’t Wanna Dance” and the slower vibed “Malibu 1992.” This album and everything after is worth a listen all the way through because it includes a great variety of songs for every mood.
Then the single “Growing Pains” balances a synthy sound with lyrics that sound conversational, like the band is just talking about small problems. It also features an emphasized bassline that makes it a great listen if you don’t pay attention to the words. The more lyrics a COIN song has, the more interesting it is because there is more space for its music to work.
Its genre intersects with pop, indie, alternative, rock, and all the combinations like alt-rock, indie-pop, indie-art/rock, etc. A distinct element of its music is an interesting rhythm that sticks in your head, which is key to the genre of art rock, an avant-garde modernization of rock music. COIN writes songs that sound familiar but have some depth that makes them different.
“I Want It All” is another song that sounds really recognizable, even for music fans who don’t listen to COIN. Its distinct rhythm is a variation of its usual sound, which comes up in several of its songs. “Cutie” is recognizable by the chorus of “Tangerine.” “Crash My Car” is a genre of rock that works for montage scenes. “Youuu” is one of its sweetest songs, but still kicks into a jam at every chorus. This album Dreamland of 2020 ends with “Let It All Out,” with a layered chorus. All of these songs are richly complicated by the four-part musical ensemble.
“Dream House” is a representational song of its, with a calm start to an echo-like song with a punchy beat. “Sagittarius Superstar” is another innovative song with Faye Webster, an artist who sings softly and skillfully with a jazz backdrop. Every song on Rainbow Mixtape from 2021 highlights quirky electronic keyboard sounds, experimental and slightly different than its typical songs.
With static in “Chapstick” and electronic/acoustic contrast in “Killing Me,” Uncanny Valley from Mar. 2022 is a deep album inspired by the constant upkeep of tech development. While they may sound predictably like indie-pop, COIN’s lyrics critique the greater arcs of society. Give its latest music a good listen, through the layers of music to the thoughtful words.
It will be a concert with hits and riffs of music we all know, but only a little bit. When they come to campus for SPB’s Spring Concert on May 6, the winner of last Saturday’s Battle of the Bands will get to play as the show opener.
~ Molly George `23