Summer is hitting its height, but it may be too early yet to declare 2014’s definitive summer song. Sure, turn on the radio and you can listen to the variety of contenders on autoplay. They may be the good (Chromeo, for one, are enjoying some well-deserved success with “Jealous”), the bad (listen to Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” one more time, I dare you), and the just plain left-field (who would have thought Weird Al would be a no.1 guy in 2014?).
But the song of the summer may also be a product of an unheralded indie pop outfit, one that should be getting its due on the radio waves. That track is “A Line We Never Drew”, the first single off of Coronado’s latest EP, Give Up Nothing Vol 1.
“There’s nothing you / can say to me / inside your mind / or in a dream, oh.” With wistful lyrics, a dance-rock rhythm, and fizzled neon guitar in support, “A Line We Never Drew” is the perfect summer song to soundtrack those sunny day drives and fresh restless nights. Vocals from Lisa Lorenz blend the feelings of midyear just right, from the joy of discovering something new, to the wonder if there couldn’t be something more.
The last time we featured Coronado here on our pages, the Toronto quintet were busy performing live and building off their last EP, Remain Calm, which was only released earlier this year (check out our review of that EP as well as our take on their live set at the Piston in April). At the time, our reviewer Jason Scharff stated “If the current formula for Coronado happens to be making a good record and then improving upon it with the followup, I’m more than excited for the next one.”
While up to now Coronado has seemingly been the personal project of frontman and guitarist Carlos Coronado (as to be assumed when the band sports your name), Give Up Nothing Vol.1 marks a promising development in the band by pushing the other members to the fore. Lisa gets to “A Line We Never Drew” as her own, while Carlos completes the EP with three strong entries of his own. As heard in their live sets, Coronado’s best asset is their versatility: with Lorenz, Coronado and Amy Morris all able to contribute with their own voices, the result is a dynamic set-piece and their most complete-sounding effort yet.
Take the second track, “Burning Bright” (heard above in Coronado’s EP release party video), and you have your indication of Coronado’s desire and ability to get better and better. The song starts out in a manner that one may expect upon watching reruns of Miami Vice on VHS, but grows organically to be more than what could simply be ’80s pastiche. Layered vocals sing: “Don’t crush the fantasy / let’s just make believe it’s just a dream.” An arresting finale rests on a sweeping synth hook complete the track into something that could only be made in 2014. Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories may have brought Chic-style dance rock back to, uh, chic, last year, but the swiggity guitar style is served just as well here and in the exhilarating solo of “Clear To Me”.
EP closer “Congratulations”, which has also been used appropriately as a set ender for Coronado’s live shows, gets the very important task of convincing the listener to hit repeat once it is all over. The track does its job, and beautifully so: all the elements of music that Coronado can do well…well, they go perfectly. A steady, subtle crescendo does the job in bringing the listener over, and it almost seems cruel to end the song (and the EP) on a sudden cut.
Yet it should be so, in want for the next release. Given Coronado’s prolific nature, though, Vol. 2 is probably already in production. Don’t expect to have to wait for long!
You can listen to all four of the tracks off Give Up Nothing Vol.1 on the album’s Bandcamp. Also, don’t forget to check out the new video for “A Line We Never Drew”! Suitably, it takes the watcher for a little night walk all around the Toronto downtown core. Shiny!
Check out Coronado!
Author: Nathan Christie