Coasts This Life Vol.1 Album Review​

Featured Image: Coasts

It’s here, it’s finally here! Coasts second album ‘This Life Vol. 1’ is released today and I am absolutely loving it!

Coasts took to their social media channels at midnight last night/ this morning for a listening party. Sadly my phone battery died about 30 seconds in so all I got to hear was that the guys from Coasts went to bingo last night – as if I needed any more reason to love them.

When I first heard the singles from the new album including ‘Come On Over’ and ‘Paradise’ I thought that they had a kind of tropical sounding vibe to them yet that was bringing the party to my door.

Yet compare this to the thought-provoking and often chilling  ‘Let Me Love You’  ‘Chase The Night’ and ‘Born To Die’ you have a well-rounded album that has a more grown up feel to it, referencing topics that are often ignored to great effect.

I loved the constant surprises and curve balls that ‘This Life’ threw out, I mean like can we talk about the choir in ‘Born To Die’? Totally majestic and so unexpected.

‘This Life Vol.1 is a revealing insight into issues that many of us face including dealing with mental health demons and highlights that (this) life is not all sunshine and daisies.

So what’s your favourite song from the new album?  I literally can’t decide, I love them all but at a push, I’d have to say from the  singles: ‘Take Me Back Home’ ‘Heart Starts Beating’ (affectionately  known as High Stakes Blackjack) and from the newer songs ‘Born To Die’ and ‘Make It Out Alive’

I took to Twitter to see what other people’s faves were:

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‘This Life Vol. 1  charts at No.14 in the iTunes Alternative Album Chart and people of the UK can look forward to Coasts epic 38 date tour in September/October.

I obviously can’t tell you which dates I’m going to (because the guys might find out and that would ruin the surprise of randomly turning up)

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Give ‘This Life Vol.1’ a cheeky listen here.

Album Review: Sacred Hearts Club by Foster The People

Featured Image via Foster The People

Foster The People released their third album, Sacred Hearts Club, last week. I had heard a few tracks ahead of its release, leaving me uncertain of how I would feel about the album. “Loyal Like Sid & Nancy” completely shocked me. This wasn’t the FTP I was used to. When the album dropped in full, I listened to it apprehensively.

Sometimes things just don’t click on the first listen. If you’re in a bad mood or sleepy or just not in the right headspace, it can be hard to truly appreciate something. I found this was the case with the tracks I had previously heard. And within the full album, everything fell perfectly into place. The bright chorus of “Pay The Man,” the happy pop feel of “Static Space Lover,” the driving rock beat of “Lotus Eater.” There are too many amazing musical moments on this album to mention. Then you have the lyrical genius that is Mark Foster. His lyrics are moving, introspective, catchy and clever. He can move you to tears on one track only to have you smiling at the next.

This album has taught me to always be willing to give things a second chance. If I had judged it solely off of the brief snippet of “Loyal Like Sid & Nancy” (which I now find to be a total bop) I had heard and not given the whole album a chance, I would have missed out on something truly incredible.

My top 5 tracks (in no particular order):

  1. “Pay The Man”
  2. “Sit Next To Me”
  3. “I Love My Friends”
  4. “Static Space Lover”
  5. “Lotus Eater”

Check out Sacred Hearts Club below!

Album Review: “The Far Field” by Future Islands

Featured Image via Future Islands

When sitting down to review Future Islands fifth album, it’s hard as a fan of theirs not to drift back in time to their live shows. This album The Far Field is so electrifying I find myself jumping up and down one minute, then swaying back and forth the next. From the very first track “Aladdin” they set the tone with their signature sound of over-the-top beats, with soft but ever present energy. Sam Herring (the lead vocalist for Future Islands) reaches out through a hauntingly beautiful medley at the end of “Aladdin,” forming yet again that emotional connection that only he can do. This track offers you a chance to really see the range of what this band has to offer. The next track, “Time On Her Side,” happens to be my new favorite of theirs. It really gives Sam’s vocals room to dance around, while allowing Gerrit Welmers (keyboards and programming) and William Cashion (bass/electric guitar) some freedom from their usual rhythm as well. Any newcomers to the Future Islands world, this is the song I’d head for first. It’ll help ease you into this one of a kind experience by merging their newer sounds with the classic Future Islands fans are used to.

I’d be remiss if I ended this review without mentioning their initial single, “Ran,” which emerges throughout the album as a powerful anthem. These Baltimore based guys, who played their first shows in Greenville, NC, have come a long way with this album. From Art Lord and the Self Portraits to the band we know as Future Islands today. I couldn’t stop playing each song over and over again. I feel if you give these guys a chance, you’ll be doing the same as well. Enjoy.

Check out their video for “Ran” below!

Album Review: “The Heights” by Knox Hamilton

Featured Image via Knox Hamilton

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Knox Hamilton, so needless to say I was thrilled when they released their debut album, The Heights, on March 10th. It was a great feeling to finally be able to listen to the studio versions of the songs I’d heard live so many times.

But enough about me. Let’s talk about this stunning debut album from my favorite Arkansas boys. The Heights is comprised of thirteen tracks of indie rock goodness. Each song has its own unique feel. Some tracks are pure feel-good pop, such as their single “Washed Up Together,” while other songs have more of a grungy rock vibe, like “Back Porch.” While I do love every track on this album, I want to point out some of my personal favorite moments:

  • The lyrics in “Washed Up Together,” especially in the chorus
  • The intro to “Rightfully So” that will never fail to make me smile
  • The chorus in “Sight For Sore Eyes,” not to mention the killer guitar solo at the end 
  • The gritty guitar riffs in “Back Porch” (this track is so incredible live)
  • The “floaty” feeling of “Barely Missed You”
  • The tearjerker that is “The Heights”
  • Boots’ vocals. I seriously cannot stress enough how amazing the vocals on this album are. Light and angelic in “Barely Missed You,” deep and resonating in “Call Me Up,” soft and sweet in “The Heights.” Always perfect.

If you’re short on time and want to check out a few tracks before committing to the whole album (although you definitely should give it a listen start to finish), I suggest checking out “We Get Back,” “Washed Up Together,” “Rightfully So,” and “Sight For Sore Eyes.” You won’t regret it.

Check out The Heights below!