There’s something to be said for a band that can simultaneously elicit a sense of nostalgia and new discovery; that perfectly balances an appreciation of the past with a youthful enthusiasm and mainstream ambitions.
Meet The Middle Coast, the Manitoba trio whose self-described ‘70s-style yacht rock will be the new soundtrack to your dockside daydreams and breezy evening drives. Drawing on influences ranging from The Guess Who to The Eagles to Hall & Oates with tinges of Motown soul and Nashville twang, members Liam Duncan, Dylan MacDonald, and Roman Clarke have cemented their signature sound and attracted some impressive industry attention – all without a formal album release to their name. What they do have to their name, though, is a heralded live show born of hundreds of sets and thousands of hours logged in the van in just a few short years.
The three Coasters united in their early teens, playing shows virtually every weekend despite their still-in-school status (sometimes circumvented with fake IDs) and filling their summers with festival dates – “which was pretty awesome for a bunch of 15-year-olds,” Duncan enthuses. Through rigorous practice and self-scrutinized performances – recording and analyzing every single show – the band developed a unique musical synergy that makes their collective output far more striking than the sum of its individual parts.
“We know each other’s tendencies and preferences inside and out,” Duncan muses about his longtime collaborators and close friends. “It’s a special bond where, sometimes, we can communicate with just a look and know where we all want to go, but at the same time, we might sit down and work at a vocal line and every little part of it 1,000 times, so still putting in a lot of work.”
The band has already recorded with the likes of Howard Redekopp (Tegan & Sara, New Pornographers), Don Benedictson (The Bros. Landreth, Valdy), and Dave Schiffman (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Weezer), though most fruits of that labour have yet to see daylight as the band continues to build its professional team and position themselves for a breakthrough. Soon, all the pieces will be in place and The Middle Coast will be poised to match the reputation of their live show with one for their records, undoubtedly on a much larger scale.
The lead single, “Paycheck,” combines catchy throwback melodies with modern hooks, multi-layered harmonies, and a groove guaranteed to strike a chord, regardless of whether it’s played through a stereo or from the stage.
The Middle Coast’s impressive and engaging live sets have already earned them heaps of accolades – including the “Favourite New Band” distinction from Winnipeg weekly The Uniter – in addition to billings at CMW, Cavendish Beach Music Festival, and the Winnipeg Folk Festival, where they received the Rising Star award. They’ve also been tapped to open for The Sheepdogs and, on an upcoming 2016 fall tour, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald.
Having quickly ascended to a level that belies their relative youth, The Middle Coast are putting the behind-the-scenes pieces in place to capitalize on their potential and all of the attention it’s garnered thus far. From patios to paddleboats, The Middle Coast’s summery melodies are simultaneously vintage and vanguard, throwback and trailblazing, and regardless of age, genre, or geography, will have listeners across the board feeling right at home.