ARTIST: COAST TO COAST

TITLE: SOVEREIGN

LABEL: FOX RECORDS

RATING: 9/10 

WORDS: MALVIKA PADIN

“The words roll from your tongue I came to ask you, tell me what it’s like on the other side,” sings Kieran Hyland, vocalist of Birmingham based emo-rock band Coast To Coast on the title track of their new EP Sovereign, as he questions the heart-wrenchingly relatable feeling of loneliness that sets in when a person is dealing with their own struggles.

Opening with upbeat instrumentals as the meaningful lyrics serve to elevate Hyland’s baritone vocals – the song title, Sovereign, comes from the line “thought you were sovereign now you can’t find your crown”, referring to the loss of direction in one’s life. The UK quartet (consisting of Kieran Hyland, Alex Edge, Josh Taylor and Zak Taylor) has released three EP’s so far -‘Dwell’ (2016), ‘The Length of a Smile’ (2017) and ‘The World Doesn’t Work’ (2018) – all packed with their unique brand of emotive rock, but they have described this latest record as their most sonically and emotionally stripped back offering to date.

Track ‘Be Kind’ is a great example of this bare-bones soundscape the band are going for, with its quiet acoustic styling carried by the raw emotionality of Hyland’s voice, enhanced by the quiet yet impactful support of the backing vocals. Formed in 2016, Coast To Coast have quickly become a “people’s favourite” in the UK underground scene for their heartfelt and honest anthems.

“THEIR MOST SONICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY STRIPPED BACK OFFERING TO DATE”

It’s the honest quality of their lyrics that carries the entire EP, and personal favourite track ‘The Sun is Dim’, as Hyland croons “I’m not perfect.” The frank song writing in combination with the guitar-led, slow and steady instrumentation makes for a track an authentic quality that’s worth multiple plays.

Aside from the message, the stand-out track of Sovereign from a sonic point of view is ‘Heredity’ which opens with heavy, soulful vocals backed by the feather-light touches of a piano instrumental ; the track is the musical representation of the light at the end of the tunnel as the anthemic presence of an increasingly complex soundscape blankets listeners while the inexplicable easy feel of  the earworm melody feels like a weight off burdened shoulders.

The five-track production comes to end all too quickly with ‘Cold Buzz’, a slow-burn offering which builds layer by layer towards a crescendo that then falls silent ; the end comes filling listeners with a warm satisfaction while simultaneously leaves you empty, wanting more.

EACH TRACK MOVES INTO THE NEXT WITH EFFORTLESS EASE”

The EP – produced by Simon Jackman and mastered by Grant Berry – is the perfect mix of new and previously released tracks, as each track moves into the next with seemingly effortless ease. 

Coast to Coast’s ‘Sovereign’ is a record that makes picking out errors a hard task, as such leaving nitpicky details such as the musical range – every song on it sounds like a sampling of a predecessor or successor – of the EP, it’s pretty perfect and definitely worth more than a few full listens.

Sovereign is out now through Fox Records.

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