19 May 2024

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Coast Arcade - EP Review: Next To Me

19 May 2023 // A review by Sharne Molloy-Turpin

“Let's Go!” I say out loud while I listen to the first verse on Coast Arcade's new EP Next To Me. Coast Arcade has the talent of Bella Bavin who is on vocals and two lead guitarists who are also brothers, Chris Tims who is on rhythm guitar and Nate Tims on bass, and on drums and backing vocals is Thom Boynton. Coast Arcade is an Auckland-based band and they have some commendable achievements to show for themselves, including being a part of the line-up for Rhythm and Vines and Spring City festival. They have a zestful sound that is predominantly Indie Pop but there's a hint of other genres. I can see myself listening to their music on a summer drive by a coastal sea and having a collection of special moments over the summer with a special someone.

This EP utilises its sound to build energy. Bella says “I think this EP is an insight into where we’re at currently - a band of four friends who are 17-19 years old - and will be cool to look back on,” Bella goes on to explain that their songs reflect on the struggles of friendships, love, a reflection on yourself and trying to find your way as a young person in the world today.

We begin with the song Next To Me which punches immediately into a powerful drum rhythm and we get the first glimpse of their earnest lyrics. The fast-paced chorus is so addictive it does make you want to dance.

Next is Highest Heights and they have Bella’s powerful vocals again but for this song, they have added background vocals of Thom Boynton and possibly the other band members. It sounds like the background vocals are chanting enthusiastically which is a style used in many good pop songs we know and love.

I found the song Salty Blonde to be their strongest song lyrically. It starts tender with just Bella's vocals and a gentle guitar but then after the first verse, the additional guitar and drums chime in to build to a rock rhythm.

Surf Club is a song that sounds like reminiscing the familiarity of a person and place including the feelings associated with either of those things.

The lyrics in Just Peachy expresses what it means to say you're fine when you actually hold resentment and are going through pain. I like the pauses between some of the words in the chorus as it adds some power and uniqueness to their sound.

Coast Arcade does sound like they repeat the same sound for most of the songs on this EP. I believe it would benefit them to have more variety in terms of the intended effect their songs have on us as listeners. However, they show clear skill and ability to create an emotional mood-setting song. Coast Arcade have established a strong fanbase and has a unique distinctive sound to their name which shows what they have to offer. I have added their songs to my personal playlist and we all should look forward to seeing what they will produce in the future.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Coast Arcade

Known for their high-energy performances, Coast Arcade injects a contagious energy into every show they play. Their music is equally as captivating as their live performances, with addictive melodies, driving rhythms, and catchy lyrics, Coast Arcade create an irresistible sound that resonates with audiences long after the show ends. With a growing fanbase and a reputation for delivering unforgettable performances, Coast Arcade is undoubtedly a band on the rise.

Since their formation in 2021, Coast Arcade have been steadily making waves in the Aotearoa scene. They’ve played with Aussie legends Bootleg Rascal, Teenage Dads, The Grogans and completed a New Zealand tour with The Terry’s and they’ve played with Kiwi icons The Beths and Princess Chelsea. They’ve also hit the festival scene hard, playing at Spring City Festival (alongside Groove Armada, Zane Lowe and Ladyhawke), White Out Festival (alongside Homebrew, Shapeshifter and Odd Mob) and New Zealand biggest festival, Rhythm and Vines. Their debut EP, Next To Me, was released in May, drawing attention from both local and international audiences. The EP showcases their versatile songwriting abilities with singles: fast-paced Highest Heights (#2 Hot NZ 20 Singles Chart), Surf Club (#20 Hot NZ 20 Singles Chart), and infectious debut Tattoo (#11 Hot 20 NZ Singles Chart).

Coast Arcade remains dedicated to pushing boundaries and embracing authenticity. With their infectious energy, powerful melodies, and insightful lyricism, this captivating band is poised to leave a mark on the music scene both in New Zealand and beyond.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Coast Arcade


Next To Me
Year: 2023
Type: EP

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