Coyote Theory – Color EP
Record Label: Independent
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Just yesterday, I was chatting on Facebook with a friend one year my senior about what we had been listening to lately. I mentioned an indie blog I was contributing to, and he responded, “Indie music? What does that sound like?” The funny thing is that I didn’t have a clue myself. The only thing that defines indie music is that it isn’t defined by any one thing, right?
Coyote Theory could probably say that more cleverly (and certainly in a less clichéd way) than I could, and they’d sound a hell of a lot better doing it too. Don’t believe me? Just pop in “Vibe”, the first track of their debut EP, Color. It begins with a fizzy, feisty piano riff before moving into a delicate opening verse and sweeping everything off the table with a grand slam of a pop-rock chorus. All things considered, it’s a pretty good representation of the musical vision that these four Florida guys have.
And what a vision it is. It’s a world where sassy, fruity jazz tones can harmonize with spine-tingling orchestral movements and rock motifs, held together with a sincere, fragile voice that stands out while letting the instruments breathe a little. Penned by the group members, whose ages range from 18 to 20, the lyrics are fittingly dreamy, as if they were reaching into a magic 8-ball filled with mementos from childhood; “This Side Of Paradise” is a nicely understated letter to finding love in loneliness, complemented with a atmospheric soundscape that swells up convincingly.
There are a surprisingly high number of musical detours taken in such a short EP as well. Though the longest track sweeps in at just under five minutes and most of the tracks fly by, the songwriting here is never rote or by-the-numbers; “You Be The Ruse, I’ll Be The Caper” takes time to slice and dice each ingredient before throwing it into the pot, and when things get cooking near the climax, the payoff isn’t anticipated, and so the aromas are full of flavor and texture.
So, to tie things back into that little story about my friend, I plan to catch him online sometime soon. I’ll ask him what he’s been listening to lately, and maybe I’ll slip in a link to Coyote Theory, that promising indie band I found on the Internet. And if he asks me what indie music sounds like, I’ll just reply, “Take some time off, give it a listen, and when you’re done, I want to hear all about it.”
Random plug: If any of you guys are interested in getting recommendations to awesome free indie music, come swing by wasfuersohr.blogspot.com! We cover a legion of different genres and artists, so no matter what your tastes, I hope you’ll find something you like.