Wonderland.

Playlist: Coast Modern

Trailblazing pop into the future is the reflective songwriting duo, Coast Modern.

Why be a mindless follower, when you can be an influential leader? That’s a lesson that Luke Atlas and Coleman Trapp unfortunately had to learn that the hard way. Once these two stopped trying to fit into a musical mold and created their own, they then became the explosive Coast Modern that we all know today. The boys have a self-aware take on alternative pop, aiming to catapult the genre into a futuristic, new direction. This LA-based duo came out with their debut song “Hollow Life” just last year, and it shot straight to the top of the HypeM charts. The song’s bass and thunderous 808’s are wonderfully contrasted by lyrics filled with frustration, inspired by the groups feelings toward their native city. Most recently, their newest single “The Way It Was” is a funky jungle beat with a suprising electronic element added into the mix of their usual pop/rock sound. Keeping with a blasé, chill LA attitude, Coleman insists that they’re, “no gurus”, they just want people to know that they’re “here figuring this shit out too”. Other tracks of theirs include the bouncy “Dive”, psychadelic “Comb My Hair and wistful “Wild Things”.

The two met while working in LA as budding songwriters. After two years of putting out feelers with their mixture of great, terrible and strange creations, nobody was biting. The two started to feel deflated and started to question whether music was the right direction for their careers. Coleman then escaped to serene Denver, CO to clear his head, where he ended up unexpectedly living for a while. With no pressure or deadlines on his mind, Coleman started to explore music again, playing around on the guitar and casually recording. He then sent his creations to Luke, who found them oddly infectious, and ended up messing around with production on one of them. Realising that the result actually wasn’t half bad, Luke ordered Coleman to “get his ass back to LA”. Luke explains that after they “stopped shooting at an invisible moving target and had no agenda, that’s when the sound came”, and the rest, is history.

And people have definitely started to take notice of their sound, with major acts like the Wombats, Temper Trap and BORNS immediately snapping them up to tour with. They also have huge festival appearances in the works, such as The Meadows and Life Is Beautiful, and they’re even set to join Temper Trap on their US tour this autumn.

Considering the boys met when writing for NASA (that’s a whole other story), they were wonderful enough to treat us to a space jams playlist, riddled with some out-of-this-world tunes. Take it away, boys.

Paul McCartney – “Darkroom”

What if Paul McCartney wasn’t always the sticky sweet melody weaver we’ve come to know? What if I told you he got body-swapped in the early 1980s and made a homespun album full of bizarre vocal noodles and wormy synths? Well, it really happened and you have to listen to believe. “Come along with me to my darkroom…”

Richard In Your Mind – “Shooting Star”

Get out the blanket and cozy up under the great sky blanket, because we’re going to take a mind vacation with this appropriately titled psyche-funk stepper.

Pond – “Zond”

The aliens have arrived in their gleaming silver space potato and they’re ready to party. They brought their favorite record to play too. Put on your Geordi La Forge glasses and get ready to swerve. 

Dorothy Ashby – “Soul Vibrations”

A female jazz harpist from the 1960s that made trippy, theremin-laced groovers? What planet is this? Take me.

Leonard Nimoy – “I Search For Tomorrow”

Leonard Nimoy wasn’t just everyone’s fav vulcan on Star Trek, he also made tunes with only slightly more emotion than Spock would allow. 

Connan Mockasin – “I’m the Man, That Will Find You”

True space funk from the ultimate Southern Hemisphere alien, Connan Mockasin. This song sounds like a gurgling swamp of sex.

SOAK – “Sea Creatures

After all this outer space gazing, this tune really washes over you and makes you feel grateful for this pale blue dot we’re all on. Cozy like a habitable planet with protective atmosphere. Ahhh.

LA Priest – “Party Zute / Learning To Love”

Homemade synths writhe and squirm under the command of former Late of the Pier frontman, Sam Eastgate. Sounds like a transmission from yourself in an alternate dimension. Hello… it me…

Art of Noise – “Moments in Love”

So hard to believe this song is from the early 80s because it sounds as fresh as anything today. My theory: the influence of ancient aliens was at play here. Pulsating vocal samples and string stabs will help you hitch your wagon to the nearest shooting star.

Panda Bear – “Tropic Of Cancer”

What is it about harps that transport you to another realm? The frequent use as dream-sequence interstitial sounds? Past-life Renaissance memories? Whatever it is, this song and it’s harps will float you on a cloud back to your nice warm bed. What a journey we’ve been on.

Words
Mariah Rosslee
Playlist: Coast Modern

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