Thought on Tracks favorites The Coasts have arrived with a fresh batch of songs for your listening pleasure, just in time for the holidays. Today brought the digital release of the band’s Santa Fe EP. It picks up where The Coasts left off on last year’s self-titled debut, sculpting straightforward rock songs with an ear for their heroes and a steady gaze on the road ahead.
Santa Fe kicks off with the title track, a song more brash and cocksure than anything off the debut. Ike Peters leads a battle cry that takes shape in the form of a call and response with the grisly power chords of his guitar. “Santa Fe” is one of those tracks that feels as if you’ve been toting it around for years. In fact, I spent the better part of three days wracking my brain and turning my iTunes library upside down in search of its inspiration, to no avail. At just more than two minutes, “Santa Fe” is an all-too-brief kick in the pants that serves to snap the listener to attention.
The title track gives way to lead single “No One’s Listening”, which we featured in this space a few weeks ago. Eric Mount rolls out the red carpet with a marching beat on the snare while Peters ponders the fickle taste of today’s fractured musical climate and the fear that all of this proves meaningless without an audience. Follow-up “Homebody” finds The Coasts bouncing through a jaunty melody that calls to mind Ryan Adams’s “To Be Young” or Arctic Monkeys’ early material.
“My Own Fault” is arguably my favorite of Santa Fe’s five tracks. I’ve got a soft spot for fuck ups, and here we find Peters lamenting his inability to straighten things out despite the best intentions. Peters’s desire for approval is palatable as his voice breaks in the second verse on the line “Oh tell me I’m so good! I need to hear those words! / I want to hear you say that I’m worth keeping.”
Mount takes the reins on lead vocals for the EP’s final track “Old Man.” It’s the most heavily produced of Santa Fe’s five songs, with flourishes of horns and strings that add depth without distraction. It’s a satisfying end to a release that achieves an astonishing breadth of emotion for an EP. Pre-order your limited edition copy of Santa Fe EP via Bandcamp for $8. As with all of The Coasts releases, a portion of the proceeds will benefit Hope for Haiti’s Children. Check out their debut Daytrotter session, featuring a handful of tracks from the new EP and their debut.
The Coasts are back! I had my doubts as to the staying power of this long distance affair, but it appears that theirs is a love worth saving. Little Rock, AR singer and guitarist Ike Peters collaborated with college pal, drummer and Ohio native Eric Mount to create one of my favorite records of 2011. The Coasts’ self-titled debut touched upon Americana, blues and indie rock to intersect at the sweet spot of my musical tastes. Despite the distance, Mount and Peters are poised to release a follow-up. The five-track Santa Fe EP should see daylight sometime in December.
We find The Coasts picking up where they left off on the EP’s first single. “No One‘s Listening” is a rollicking, toe-tapper with a Johnny Cash backbone that, on the surface, meditates on the nihilist notion that music has no intrinsic meaning. In Peters’ view, “It’s all subjective” and as such any meaning is derived from the listener. In other words, if a song falls in the woods, is it really a song? This is a relevant debate in an era where independent artists’ success or failure is determined, in large part, by word of mouth.
Peters isn’t all doom and gloom. He still believes in a song’s potential to impact a listener. But he knows all too well that such a scenario requires the audience to take a chance. “No One’s Listening” arrives with a terrific visual complement from WreckRoom Records. Keep your eyes peeled for more on Santa Fe EP as the release date approaches. In the meantime, watch and listen below.
Written by Rob Peoni
Little Rock’s The Rough Drafts is brother and sister duo Ike Peters and Katie Mitchell. Peters is no stranger to this space. His band The Coasts is a project that we’ve covered extensively and their debut, self-titled release remains one of my favorites from 2011. The Rough Drafts dropped the debut single from their forthcoming Valley Forge EP this week. Peters and Mitchell had been tossing around the idea of collaborating for a while, before finding a cause upon which to focus their creative efforts. All proceeds from the EP will be donated to the family of Mitchell’s sister-in-law, who is attempting to fund an adoption.
“Oh My Love” finds Peters doing what he does best: writing simple, straightforward songs that you will be certain you’ve been humming since childhood. The latter half of the track is backed by perfectly-arranged fills on trumpet and trombone. The mix and production was handled by Nashville producer Allan Douglas.
“It was me and my sister recording these songs, and then [we sent them to] a great musician and producer in Nashville named Allan Douglas who completely made the songs better,” said Peters. “He did it for free since he has an adopted child and is passionate about the cause, so he deserves a lot of the credit.”
Listen to “Oh My Love” below and name your price for a digital download via The Rough Drafts’ Bandcamp page. Share this track and help spread the word about a terrific new project. Click HERE for more info on the family’s adoption efforts.
Written by Rob Peoni