Music

Wig out and head nod with COIN on their alt-pop funk-fest ‘Chapstick’

Chapstick from alt-pop trio COIN is the perfect marriage between vocal manipulation and groove-ridden hooks.

COIN began in Nashville, but with their irresistible tendency for synth-pop whimsy, you’d be forgiven for thinking they were LA or NYC natives. Since dropping their self-titled debut in 2015, their slick licks and electric tricks have been nothing short of infectious.

On their 2021 return single, Chapstick, the gold-certified act throw a curveball that lands directly left of field.

COIN

COIN team up with 10K Projects/Handmade Projects on Chapstick, one of their most rewarding sonic ventures to date. The instrumentation is scratchy, pitch-shifted and shimmering, but against all the hypnotic-psych, lay some undeniable hooks.

“She’s a real livewire, what’s she talking about? I think I love her”, sings Chase Lawrence, building up a metaphoric world of digital attraction.

Shifting in and out of manipulated vocals and balmy falsetto, COIN captivate the listener with ease. Once the bass breakdown hits, any ambivalence towards head nodding is eliminated. This is a bop indie kids will be dying to queue up on the aux, in anxious anticipation of hearing a coveted, “who is this?” from their mates.

“Chapstick is an attempt to describe something as inhuman as A.I. experiencing something so acutely human as a first kiss”, the band comments. It’s all a bit cooked, lyrically speaking, but that’s kind of the point.

Visually, the track is accompanied by a disorientating film clip from director Dan Henry. Amidst animated pop-ups and light flickers, the band perform the track in the tastiest of thrift-shop inspired threads. A reference to The 1975 feels necessary, though COIN is more colourful in aesthetic.

As the band prepare for a 26-city tour in North America, they can sleep easy knowing that one of their hottest tracks is now on the setlist.

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