By Sasha Goldblatt
On February 21, 2020 COIN released their third full length album, Dreamland. It follows the typical uplifting, love-focused themes that COIN enjoys dwelling on, but still contains some of their best tunes to date as a result of masterclass instrumentation and shifting vocal styles. Although there isn’t much to be said about a concept for the record, there is a general understanding it’s focused on love and attachment.
The album begins with “Into My Arms.” Tone setting isn’t an easy feat in modern indie music, but it’s effortlessly executed by COIN. It is fast paced with a driving bass throughout. The vocals scream above all else, saying, “get out of my head and into my arms.”
The next two tracks, “I Want It All,” and “Simple Romance,” are a bit more mellowed out with a slower beat and lower pitched vocals, supplementing the record’s variety. Compounding the groove with a sophisticated edge shows a healthy amount of professionalism from the band, and their desire to experiment within their accredited sound.
A natural follow up is “Crash My Car,” one of the best COIN songs to date. It is the perfect “windows down” driving song, with amazing and creative vocals. Loud, banging chorus instrumentation contrasts perfectly with the calm verse. It stands as creating the tone of the album: coming of age. It is a timeless song that can be a go-to for anyone.
“Dreamland Sequence,” is essentially what it sounds like: it transitions to a second portion of the album through a use of iridescent layered female and male vocals, as well as strings.
This transitional form is appropriate prior to the next track, “Cemetery.” Acting as a very unique track for COIN, the lyrics speak of a man who is focused on making money rather than connections. His only accomplishment is being the richest man in the cemetery. A rather somber message upon a second listen. Yet the instrumentation is still very upbeat with major chords, creating this sort of “Oh . . .” moment for the listener after realizing what the lyrics are saying.
“Youuu,” and “Valentine,” both continue the coming of age style of music, introducing more synth, both about loving something so much it hurts. “Nobody’s Baby, ”“Never Change,” and “Babe Ruth,” are very catchy and well done, but they are not very memorable. They sort of blend together. “Lately III,” is more interesting with a use of strings, a slower tempo and lower pitched vocals, as well as a cool drop at the chorus.
The album finishes off with “Heaven Hearted,” an interlude-type track that has muffled vocals and wavering instrumentals, perfectly setting up the final track to be more reflective and meaningful.
“Let It All Out (10:05),” is easily the best track on the album, and was the first that was released as a single before the release of Dreamland. It is structured differently than any previous tracks by COIN and clearly stands out from the rest of the album. It is safe to say COIN was not afraid to experiment here. It speaks to the idea of reflection and letting out your emotions when you cannot seem to handle them any longer. There is a slow and subtle build up to a choir preaching to the idea of letting out bottled up feelings.
COIN is a great band with a lot of talent and charisma, but although they attempted to experiment on Dreamland, they do need to take more risks in order to create more memorable, meaningful tracks such as “Let It All Out (10:05).” Their go-to styled love songs are enjoyable but are beginning to blend together. Knowing that they are capable of creating something as meaningful as the final track makes me greatly excited for what they will do next.
Best songs: Crash My Car, Let It All Out (10:05)
Best lyrics: “Every move you make is apocalypse / And you feel your fate at your fingertips.” — Let It All Out (10:05)