Despite doing some great things and having some success with different singles, COIN remains overlooked. They’ve been running for over five years and they’re soon to put out their third album, DREAMLAND, so they must be doing something right. But the fact is this; for how much great music COIN has put out, not nearly enough people are paying attention. They’re a brilliant band that puts out consistently different music from album to album, and their new album might be their best.
“What we wanted when we started… that ended up so far away with what we finished with. Which really ended up for the best,” said COIN frontman Chase Lawrence in a recent interview with Alternative Addiction. “We started this album before the last one was out. It started when we were touring a ton. It started in a sprinter van, then in a bus, then in hotels all over. We started the record with one thing in mind; through the past few albums we’ve worked with amazing producers and amazing writers, but we felt like maybe our voice wasn’t as clear as how we’d like it to be. So, we set out with the intention of making this album internally and capturing the initial energy that comes along with when the idea for a song collides with you. We’d work with these amazing producers and they’d go in and systematically rebuild these moments that came to us. Then, you make it technical perfection, but you lose the passion in that process. So, we wanted to make an album that was emotionally energetic but not so much focused on perfection, just performance.”
This album couldn’t be further from sonic perfection, and that’s meant in the best way. You’re not going to get sonic perfection when you’re recording literally anywhere but a studio. They tried that for a small portion of this album, and even then, Chase said it wasn’t what they were looking for, so they moved on.
“We came out with something that we’re proud of. We worked anywhere but a studio. We recorded one vocal in a studio, and then we decided that it didn’t sound like what we were looking for. There are moments on this album that sound technically wrong and sonically bizarre, but the emotion was there so we threw it on the record and didn’t second-guess what we were doing.”
The way this recorded was recorded is the result of the intention to do something different, but it was also done by necessity. Not only were these songs recorded anywhere but a studio, they were thrown together at times when members of the band were in different time zones.
“We also moved halfway through this album process,” explained the COIN synth artist and vocalist. “Each of us moved to separate corners of the country – New York, L.A. – and then I stayed in Nashville. So, we all had to shift our writing process entirely and switch to voice memos and things like that. I thought the process wouldn’t work, but what it did was it made each of our voices’ clearer. When we first started the band, we would start working together and we didn’t know how to tell each other different things. This way, each person’s voice was individually heard with this process. It allowed us to be uniquely COIN for the first time since our inception.”
With everybody in different places, you’d think that all these sounds, takes, and opinions were shared through a server or at least an email chain. The core of everything is a very intricate group text thread. A good example for how the band worked is the song “Valentine” – a song that dropped today.
“I sent everyone what I was calling ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Song’ – it was a ProTools session. I sent everyone a verse and then an empty chorus. Minutes later Ryan in L.A. texted back a chorus vocal, that ended up making up most of the chorus, then Joe sent a guitar part. All of his happened within minutes. We had a song that was virtually finished, that unlocked a lot for us and that really shows how we made this album.”
A song done in hours, but a process that took three years, COIN’s new record is a culmination of the band’s growth. They’ve matured with age and they’ve matured by working with talented people. They’ve also realized that there’s something to be said for putting together everything by yourself once you’ve learned and grown and figured out who you are.
“These songs, it seems like they connect in a deeper way. This album is special to us and I think that’s why people are connecting with these songs,” added Lawrence. “It’s lifted our set and provided us with a doorway to a much more dynamic show, which we’ve always wanted to have.”
This new music is set to change COIN’s live show dynamic because of the variety of songs and the emotion that went into crafting these tracks. Lawrence talked further about the different live eras the band has been through and how he views DREAMLAND changing the band’s set.
“Our first album is up tempo. There’s one song that’s not. In that era, we had nine songs to play and we would be exhausted after we played those. With the second album, we worked in some slower songs and then some songs that required some half-time movement in your body and your thoughts. Those would help breakup the set. Now, we’ve got even more opportunities with this new music with songs that invoke emotions and thoughts and propose real questions to listeners. That’s something we haven’t had in the past. With these songs, they’re the most personal songs that we’ve ever written. Being able to have that in the set… to be able to set it apart is great. It’s universal in a way that everybody can relate to, but it’s a little different. This album allows us to dive into our more personal selves and that allows our set to be that much more personal too.”
One of the more special songs on this record is “I Want It All” and while “Valentine” is definitely a microcosm of the entire album process for COIN, so is “I Want It All.” On the song Lawrence learned a valuable lesson and it really proved to be the guiding light for the creation of the rest of the record.
“One day we were recording, we went in there to do something completely different and ended up just playing different things. I sat down and started playing the piano part from ‘I Want It All’ and the song took off from there. By dinner time we were recording drums. We stayed up all night, and then the next night we were at Mark Foster’s house recording vocals. The song was finished in 24 hours. We came there with the intention of doing absolutely nothing. That made me realize that I can’t be set to making a certain type of song. I have to let the music take me. Each song is its own universe.”-aa
DREAMLAND from COIN comes out 2/21 – the band just dropped the new song, “Valentine” today.