Uncanny Valley – Coin
Selecting favorite albums from a month is always a difficult task. For March Nashville-based band, Coin, made the choice rather easy. Coin, comprised of members Chase Lawrence (lead vocals, keys), Ryan Winnen (drums), and Joe Memmel (guitar) have created the type of album that launches a band. Uncanny Valley manages to be a reflective album and at the same time its packed with bops. The resulting sound fits nicely on both a rock or a pop playlist.
The first three tracks show off the bands range. The opening tune “Learning” is an ethereal autotuned song that cleanses the mental palate before the album kicks in with my favorite track “Chapstick.” With “Chapstick” the band has created a brilliant blend that opens with a distorted guitar that channels classic southern rock before dropping into a Post Brexit New Wave narrative that gives the song a very chilled vibe. The third track “Cutie” lands somewhere between pop and the stylings of bands like Tame Impala. This is a very well-produced album.
The song “Brad Pitt” is a nice song that works a lot of the same terrain as “Chapstick.” “Take a Picture” and ”Killing Me” are clever break up songs that have irresistible hooks. The albums gem may be “Plug Me In,” a two minute track that questions our connections with technology and faith while observing that “once you grow up, you don't come back down.”
Uncanny Valley is already making a lot of noise and Coin is popping up everywhere. By their next album Coin may be too big for blogs like this (I certainly hope that’s the case).
From 2 to 3 – Peach Pit
There is something sweat that appeals to my hippie soul in Vancouver band Peach Pit’s new album “From 2 to 3.” It’d not just Neil Smith’s voice or Christopher Vanderkooy’s plucky guitar playing. It’s everything in the band’s musicianship, the songs productions, and the sardonic lyrics. Peach Pit manages to be that friend that can tell you really messed up shit in the nicest way. I want to sit outside, put this music on, close my eyes and let sun and tunes wash over me (and grin at the messed-up parts).
If you lets yourself go you may find that you are mentally skipping along to Peach Pit’s drinking, smoking, and snorting adventures while happily embracing the dysfunction. “Vickie” and “Look Out” perfect examples of dysfunctional fun.
That’s not to say that the album doesn’t stop to reflect on these endeavors a little more seriously. The songs “From 2 to 3,” “Last Days of Lonesome,” and “Drips on a Wire” all ask serious questions about relationships, desire, and what feels like co-dependency. “From 2 to 3” is a lovely song and nice way to end the album.
From 2 to 3, despite the themes, is by far the most charming album I’ve heard this year.