I have kind of a love / hate relationship with the beach. On the one hand, I was born on an island (Brooklyn is on an island. I don’t care what the supreme court says.) and have lived most of my life within 4 or 5 miles of the ocean. Whenever I’m asked if I could ever see myself living someplace like Chicago or Dallas or Albuquerque, I always answer, “No. Too far from the ocean.” On the other hand, I can’t stand sitting in a chair in the sand for more than about 45 minutes. I guess you could say that I love, even need, to be by the beach; but I don’t really like being on the beach. It’s in my blood, though, so I find myself drawn to anything that conjures images of the coast.
I get the feeling that Brooklyn 5-piece, Coastgaard, has a less complicated relationship with the beach than I do. The band’s self-titled, debut full-length opens with images of diving kites, salty air, and swimming back and forth in the ocean on “Kings” (“We were kings of the beach…”). The record’s second fourth consists of tracks “Beach 1,” “Beach 2,” and “Beach 3,” with “Beach 1″ really showcasing the band’s brand of ethereal, dreamy surf pop.
On songs like “How Long” and “Bricola,” Coastgaard creates that lazy, laid back feel of a seaside town on a hot summer day. The jangly guitars, reverb, and overall easy-going vibe of the record, coupled with the well-crafted Vampire Weekend-like pop of songs like “Switchblade Coast” and “Tidal Wave,” make Coastgaard an album that it would be easy to get lost in while sitting in a chair, eyes shut behind your shades on the sand. And at around 42 minutes, it’s well within my personal time limit for such activities.
We’re coming up on winter here, and I can see myself setting my chair up in the living room with the lights out just to see if Coastgaard can take me to a warmer place.
Coastgaard is out now.