The Nashville music scene seems to favor a certain type of up and coming artist. But if you don’t wear a cowboy hat and boots and sing about tractors, is it still possible for you to find an audience? In the case of Tennessee natives COIN, that answer is a resounding “yes!” Though they may bear little resemblance to Alan Jackson or Lady Antebellum, they still owe their rise to the same renowned music scene, which nowadays churns out bands in nearly every genre imaginable.
Chase Lawrence (lead vocals), Joe Memmel (guitar/backup vocals), and Zach Dyke (bass) all met as students at Belmont University a few years back. After recruiting fellow Nashvillian Ryan Winnen (drums), it didn’t take long for the polished pop sound of COIN to materialize. Following in the footsteps of fellow Nashville indie pop outfit Cherub, COIN embraces synth-driven hooks with the same fervor that their hometown contemporaries reserve for their twang and fiddles. The result is a sound not unlike the dominant music scene of LA or England, the same neo-new-wave bliss that rules the alternative and pop airwaves today. Radio programmers had better save room for COIN.
After riding a steady wave of Internet buzz from tracks such as their cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Cecilia” and the dancehall-shaking single “It’s Okay,” the group signed with Capitol Records and quickly knuckled down to record their first album. They enlisted the help of Grammy-nominated producer Jay Joyce – whose previous collaborations include Cage the Elephant, Sleeper Agent and Emmylou Harris – to help produce the record, an experience that Lawrence described as “humbling” to Popular’s Liza Darwin. The result is nothing short of an indie pop dream. Combining the effortless energy of Phoenix, the body-swaying electronic earnestness of Passion Pit and just a tad of punk furiosity, COIN stand ready to take the world outside Nashville by storm.
COIN’s eponymous album is due June 9th (luckily not that far away), but in the meantime the band has shared a suitably boisterous sampler of three tracks via Spin. Standout track “Atlas” meshes Strokes-era guitar with the same buoyant synths that put their EP on our radar. Slow-burner “I Would” begins in 80s ennui that would have sat comfortably at an Alphaville-scored senior prom, but quickly bursts forth in a shower of danceable beats and sugary guitar licks. The final track “Holy Ghost” recalls the fire of an Imagine Dragons stomp-along, but with a lively effervescence and sense of fun sorely missing from the indie pop juggernauts. We at Writtalin have already taken the full record for a spin and trust me when I say the flow of dance-pop treats don’t end there. Luckily the wait for the rest of you isn’t that long.