EP Review: COIN – Indigo Violet

COIN successfully cemented themselves on the indie-rock roster in 2015 with their upbeat, synth-heavy debut single ‘Run’. The Nashville-based trio caught the attention of Billboard magazine who hailed the band as “new wave crash-course survivors,” allowing COIN to gain enough traction to break into the indie music scene.

Five years on, two studio albums later and an RIAA Gold certification under their belt, COIN are now relishing in their newfound maturity on their new EP, ‘Indigo Violet’. The newest release is part one of their ‘Rainbow Mixtape’, a series of EPs organised by theme and colour. Indigo Violet is a colourful pop entry from the indie-rock darlings who have ditched the dirty guitar licks in exchange for chunky new-wave synth beats behind dreamy falsetto vocals, perfectly encompassing the rich hues of purple they appropriately named the EP after.

COIN send us cruising down a one-way road to indie-pop bliss with their indulgent opening track ‘Sort It Out’. The song starts with gently fingerpicked chords and a pounding drum beat which builds to a breezy, lightweight alternative-pop song that has an Oh Wonder meets Phoenix quality to it. Its chilled beats and catchy “just call” hook make for exactly the kind of song that would be on Hollister’s in-store playlist.

The EP’s second song, ‘You Are the Traffic’ is the EP’s lead single and was written about a touching realisation frontman Chase Lawrence had about his place in the world whilst stuck in traffic. In its bright, coppery chorus Lawrence sings “there’s no me without you” behind a masterful mix of sunny acoustic guitar and sudden unexpected bursts of subtle piano and trumpet instrumentation. By the final verse, heavy electric guitars have managed to sneak their way in and manifest the track into a verified full-grown indie-rock song; we only that the electric guitars had been plugged in much sooner.

COIN strip it back for their penultimate track ‘Make It Stop’, opening with an acapella piece of advice from Lawrence, “don’t meet your heroes,” before a reflective piano melody quickly fills the song’s solemn aura like a low-key Coldplay piano ballad. By the second half of the song, Lawrence’s impressive, raw vocals battle it out against slicker-than-none synthesisers in this The XX-style song, wearing his heart on his sleeve as he poignantly croons “Who do I become when my youth fades away? / And I just wanna go home again.”

But the real gem on the Indigo Violet EP is the uplifting final track, ‘I Feel Alive?’ which sparkles with summery guitars, upbeat drum patterns, and features a sample from a Zambian community of singers. Although the majority of the song’s lyrics is somewhat empty and uninspired, the chorus is a blatant reminder that “We’re okay”, and in today’s climate, it’s a reminder we can all use. If the oversized, bigger-than-life-itself chorus on this track isn’t enough to get your blood pumping and feet dancing, then we don’t know what will.

COIN have once again reimagined their signature sound, whilst sticking to their indie-rock roots on this decadent, grape-flavour-jelly EP, and we’re hungry for more.

Text by: Gabriella Ferlita / / / Photo credit: David O’Donohue

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