High Wycombe quintet Coastal Cities have been grafting hard throughout the UK and European live circuit ever since they all met one another whilst at school.
But it’s their melodic, infectious riffs and lyrical story-telling – combined with their cut-glass cheekbones – that’s been causing a stir within the music and fashion industry, with several of the band’s members catching the eyes of Hedi Slimane, who booked them to walk in his menswear show in Paris.
Their brand new video ‘Nothing Ever Changes’ was made in collaboration with Burberry as the band played muse for the label’s exclusive new Spark Sunglasses campaign. We talk to the band about schoolyard fun and the making of the video.
You guys all met at school, right?
We are the same age so we were in the same year, we became friends through mutual friends and friendship groups, but formed after school one day when I heard Lewis (drums) and Sean (guitar) jamming in one of the music practice rooms. I thought it sounded pretty good, so I opted to join in… After that, we decided we’d try and become a band. Eventually we got better and started playing at some local shows and our friends’ living rooms, to the distaste of the parents and well… we’ve been going ever since!
Your music seems to hold a ghostly, sad undercurrent. What’s been your inspiration when writing?
We like it when the music can be heard and thought of as upbeat or happy, but the concept of the song, or the lyrics behind the song can be quite reflective and sometimes sad. This delivers songs in a way that has conviction, but they are accessible and you can dance to them as well. We aren’t morbid or anything and we like to put on a fun and energetic live show, but the songs that we’ll always take to heart are the ones that can stand the test of time.
Are the EPs and singles a good sign as to what to expect from the album?
The Think Tank EP was at least to us, an entity in itself. It was made and then it was released, so I’m not sure if it will make too much of an appearance again. We’re not overly keen on repeating ourselves or dragging out old content as we’re always progressing, so we like to look to the future and try to outdo ourselves.
How did you guys become part of the YSL and Burberry Spark campaigns?
Our singles have been out for a while and we’ve had some good reception in France. It was around that time that I was approached by Hedi Slimane who asked our management for me to take part in a photoshoot in LA with him. He asked me afterwards if myself and the guitarist, Sean, wanted to take part in the YSL menswear show in Paris that January. The Burberry campaign was of similar origins and they wanted to film us performing our latest track ‘Nothing Ever Changes’. We were very flattered, and overwhelmed by the interest but being us, we were just excited more than anything.
Tell us about the new video for ‘Nothing Ever Changes’?
It’s just like a classic performance video with a really cool light up backdrop. It was quite overwhelming for us having a huge film studio and people running around doing things whilst filming, but it was really enjoyable and we’d definitely do it again. Usually we make our own videos, so it was a nice change getting to sit back whilst something was made from conception.
You’ve also been playing a hoard of gigs throughout the live circuit recently. What has been your best gig to date?
We all have our own favourites, and every show is special to us as we love playing live more than anything. I guess in a nutshell though, we like shows that are a bit crazy, and receptive amongst the audience. You can really feel that you’re coming across properly and it makes it that bit more special.
Bands you’re loving at the minute?
Well, we’re friends with a lot of REALLY cool musicians, so we’d suggest you go and listen to people like – As Elephants Are, XUUKI, China Rats, ROUGE, LUUI Fauve, French Soul Party and DIIV.
Words: Shane Hawkins (Follow Shane on Twitter @piccadilly_boy)