Lukas Atlas and Coleman Trapp are Coast Modern; a laid-back, West Coast outfit that fuse genres, push boundaries, and generally embrace their own tendencies to get a little weird. They met in LA where they were both working in the songwriter scene. "Trying to craft mega-hits for mega-stars," explained Lukas during our recent NEXT Session with the band. "But we kept making songs that were too weird for everybody. Too idiosyncratic. After a long time we were like, 'hey...we should put this energy into our own thing that can live and be weird'. And that's Coast Modern".
And we love it. The band has been chucking spunky indie gems into the universe the last year and change; each one plunging into a different side of the band's weird personality. Recently, the band brought four of the tunes by HQ, filling the studio with the kind of sunny, West Coast vibes that had us all dreaming of the summer to come. Also, good news...the band will be dropping a proper, full-length debut on May 5th, just in time to fuel your warm-weather soundtrack with a brand new breed of mega hits.
Sometimes the only way to get ahead is to stop following the leader, and start running your own
race. Coast Modern flies out of the pack with a refreshingly uninhibited sound for disenchanted
dreamers everywhere. Building on an admiration for the spirit of misfit alternative bands and the
fearless ethos of modern hip hop, the duo creates alternative pop with a wink that aims to push
the genre into the future.
Seattle-native Luke Atlas and LA-local Coleman Trapp met while working as Los Angeles-based
songwriters, fellow rats in the race to land songs with mainstream pop artists. After more than
two years of peddling some great, some terrible, and some very weird creations at the gates of
the mainstream, they received little more than fleeting glances. Watching so many of their
creations die on the operating table left the two burnt out and questioning their path.
With just a backpack and a tape recorder, Coleman escaped his oversaturated hometown for
the mountainous serenity of Denver, Colorado. What was meant to be a quick, head-clearing
vacation soon turned into months as Coleman blended into the community, working at a used
instrument store, and enjoying the simple pleasures of a normal life.
Without the pressure of writing-on-demand, he began messing around on a borrowed acoustic
guitar and recording tossed-off ditties on an old cassette recorder through the smallest hours of
the night. The pure, child-like enjoyment of writing only for himself led Coleman to a realization:
maybe hed overlooked a path that was right in front of him the whole time.
Soon, warbly tape recordings began appearing in Lukes inbox. At first I didnt think much of
these songs because they were so different, but they kept randomly getting stuck in my head
says Luke, who further encouraged Colemans experiments. On a whim, Luke created a
production around one of the acoustic demos and sent it back. Coleman was thrilled. It felt like
this could be something, says Luke. I told him to get his ass back to LA.
Returning with renewed vigor and a rusted-out car hood after a Mile-High winter, Coleman
quickly sought out Luke. With their new musical experiments buzzing in their heads, the pair
discussed creating a personal project based purely on the whims of their creative spark,
wherever that led them. After we stopped shooting at an invisible moving target and had no
agenda, thats when the sound came, explains Luke. And Coleman, who had not so much as
even sung Happy Birthday until a few years prior, began finding the confidence to take
frontman status, lending his vocals to the tracks that began to take form through a playful,
One of the first songs they plucked from the ether together was Hollow Life. An anthem for
restless souls everywhere, the lyrics drip with the same frustration the duo once felt for their city, while Coleman yearns for a simpler life away from it all. Racing towards a dream on the horizon/Gimme something better than this Hollow Life, he sings over plinking marimba mashed up
with angular fuzzy bass and booming 808 kick drums.
The song is about finding distance from what is hindering you, whether it be physical or mental
distance, explains Coleman. But were no gurus. Were just trying to let people know that were
here figuring this shit out too.
Coast Modern followed Hollow Life with another addicting earworm called Animals, and then
reggae-tinged single, 'Guru, a perfect jam for slow summer days. Their fourth single, 'The Way
It Was, celebrates the present moment with a groove fit for a tropical jungle cruise.
While the world was busy re-blogging and pushing repeat, their tunes were creeping up the
Hype Machine charts, with each of the four singles charting at #1 or #2, racking up a cool 12
million streams. Their eclectic sound caught the ears of a multitude of media, including Pigeons
and Planes, Billboard, Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly, NYLON and Interview Magazine.
Their songs began receiving spins on SiriusXM Alt Nation, KCRW, KEXP and Zane Lowes
show on Beats 1. After playing their first ever shows at SXSW in 2016, they were scooped up to
tour with acts like BORNS, The Wombats, and The Temper Trap on nationwide tours.
Behind the scenes, Luke and Coleman were busy knocking out a myriad of unreleased jams for
their forthcoming LP - due for release in Spring 2017. The entire album was written, recorded
and produced by the duo in Lukes living room, leading to an organic and distinctively Coast
Modern sound. The songs travel all over the musical spectrum, from Dive, a bouncy tribute to
nascent romance, to the psychedelic, weird and wild Comb My Hair, to the hip hop leaning
anthem 'Pockets.' Digging deeper, there's 'Wild Things' which encompasses a wistful meditation
on the passage of time, and the slow-burning, fireplace crackling Frost, recorded at the dawn
of Coast Modern. Coast Modern have the rare capability of covering a large swath of musical
territory, yet a strong, self-aware voice and a sense of groove tie them all together.
With their destiny now grasped firmly in their own hands, Luke and Coleman are reveling in the
freedom of their newfound artist status. At the will of their muses instead of the tidal flow of the
pop world, the group can create the genuine, self-assured music that had been locked inside.
Coast Modern is what happens when you let go of what you always thought you wanted and
embrace the unexpected; when you stop chasing and start taking the lead.