The second studio album by the underground indie-pop/college rock band has garnered a lot of attention, including mine. This group has been on my radar since the release of this album back in 2017. Getting their start in Nashville while in College, lead Chase Lawrence and Joe Memmel began to write songs while Zachary Dyke joined on Bass, the three grew close an would go on to self release two EPs while touring locally.
Since being picked up by Startime International under Columbia Records, they joined a roster including Foster the People and Lewis Del Mar. The first full length album the group had put out was self-titled, and set off on their first national tour. This debut album hit number 21 on US Heatseekers, and set off a pattern of popularity.
Coming on the anticipation of their lead single, “Talk Too Much”, COIN’s latest album, How Will You Know If You Never Try, was a big hit. The first to hit the Billboard 200, it rose to number 177, as well as number two on Heatseekers.
The first song on this album “Don’t Cry, 2020” hits on the fears of another year gone by, and how aging affects the character heavily. The future is terrifying and not something they want talked about, acting reclusive and distant on birthdays. He addresses the character, “It’s just a number, darling, dry your eyes”.
The struggle this album hits on is dating, and the awkwardness around it today. “Talk Too Much” was written in a handful of hours by Lawrence and some friends about their inability to leave things unsaid. When the awkwardness of a date sets in, it’s comforting to keep talking and fill in the space. He is simultaneously upset by others doing it, as well as himself, wishing a kiss could distract the two.
The one song that really grabbed me when I first listened to the album was “I Don’t want to dance” about the whole scheme of dating. At the time of first listen, I was also pretty over the way dating happened in high school. Lawrence voices the same concerns, of not wanting to date the modern way and wanting something real. The dance of dating doesn’t interest him, claiming he doesn’t know how. Myself, an at times awkward teen felt that.
Probably the most on the nose track of the album is “Are We Alone?” Basically, phones are ruining dating. This isn’t an original topic, but he relates it to his own life and experiences. He mentions that even without phones, his date just isn’t present, their mind is elsewhere.
“Lately I” is a very heartfelt song about when Lawrence lost his nephew, who lived only 24 hours. It’s also the sequel to “Lately” off of their first album. Almost as a pick me up, the ending is an entirely different song. A short rock piece to cleanse the palate. On the vinyl, it’s clear this part is physically separated from the rest of the song, giving lends to it being a “secret song.”
The last song “Malibu 1992” comes from their first EP and was reworked for this album. They say it was hastefully written, yet a vital part of the band.
The red label on the record makes this a striking piece, and includes the band name in very large font. This is the only pressing of vinyl, meaning no special colors exist. All in all, a great album for lovers and loners a like. I highly recommend this album for anybody’s Valentine’s Day playlists.