Coastal Club on Cherishing Your Youth, Growth As A Band and Upcoming Album


Photo Credit: Zayne Isom

Soon to release an EP that will set that soundtrack to your summer, Nashville-based indie outfit Coastal Club will release All of the Things You Said — their first album release since their 2020 EP i get nervous sometimes — on July 19. The band released the upcoming album’s lead single “cigarettes” on April 12. An incredibly catchy, uplifting and nostalgic track, “cigarettes” is an anthem for the summer as is delivers timeless power chords over a powerful message of cherishing your youth. In addition to “cigarettes”, the band also just announced that they will release an additional single from the album “conversation”, on May 17.

Consisting of Alexandre Hirlinger (lead vocals, guitar), Avery Benter (lead guitar, vocals) and David McGuire (drums), Coastal Club was originally a group based in Cincinnati, Ohio before making the move to Nashville. Initially finding fame from their 2020 single “honey” that now has over 11 million Spotify streams, the group says they took somewhat of a hiatus due to the pandemic. Now, with the announcement of a new EP, the group is ready to tackle the scene once again with a new 7-track EP that flawlessly portrays their growth both as individual musicians and as a band. On the upcoming record, Coastal Club maintains their iconic beachy, summer sound. However, they have proven on this well-rounded EP that they aren’t afraid to said what needs to be said. By digging into heavier topics and getting feelings off their chest, Coastal Club has ultimately proven that they’re back and cooler than ever – much to the excitement of their dedicated fanbase. Recently, Alexandre and Avery sat down with Melodic Mag to discuss how the band has matured since 2020 as well as what the expect from All of the Things You Said.

I want to ask first about the new single “cigarettes” that just came out. It’s very carefree, very beachy. I love the message behind it as well, about cherishing your youth. Why was it important for you to put that message out there for listeners?
Alexandre: This song in particular was co-written by myself and a former member of the band a long, long time ago Gable Price, who’s now in a band called Gable Price and Friends. Gable came to me with that initial idea and then we wrote the rest of the song together. But it was exactly what you’re describing. It was meant to be an anthem about youth. Not even necessarily holding on to the feeling of your youth, but really cherishing it and never letting that feeling of invincibility and that you can do anything fade away. Just constantly trying to remind yourself of that feeling regardless of the older you get when pressures and responsibilities get put on you. Trying to have these moments where you act without thinking about the consequences and trying to get back to that sense of youth and invincibility is where the main feeling and emotion of the song came from. 

“Cigarettes” is also the first single from the album, and on the upcoming album you guys keep your signature sound but you dig into heavier topics. What inspired you guys to explore those deeper subjects on this album?
Alexandre: I think just life circumstances mostly. We all want Coastal Club to be a group that, when you listen to the music, you overall feel encouraged and uplifted and you feel like your day is better. But at the same time, I think being a songwriter or musician or creative person, you sometimes want to dig into some topics that you feel like just have to get out. There’s one song in particular, “existential”, which is a pandemic song, and it’s dealing with a lot of those feelings and emotions that we were all feeling around that time. It just came from lived experience and I think there’s a topic throughout a lot of it which is, most of us have some sort of a religious background. I think a lot of the songs are digging into that and digging into why we believe what we believe and what we believed from a young age, and sort of reframing and rethinking a lot of those things. Then they’re mixed in with a lot more uplifting love songs and some happier stuff as well.

You bring up “existential”, but what are some other songs from that album that stand out to you or that you’re most excited for people to listen to?
Avery: “Be like me” and “conversation” are the ones that I’m personally the most excited about. I love the flow of those songs; I also just love playing both of them live. There’s a sense that all the parts that are in the songs are really fun to play, so I get into them more. I’m excited to see what the responses to them are and to see if people share those same feelings to them. Because they’re both on the same topic of this project being a little bit divergent from past projects. I feel like there’s some of it that tends to get a little bit weirder, and I’m excited for those things to see the response and see how people receive that.
Alexandre: I think for me “cigarettes” is one of them, partially because of the musicality. It uses a ton of power chords which, in my guitar mind, I haven’t used a power chord in probably 10 years because it’s the first thing you learn on the guitar. It feels like something that is so rudimentary you don’t want to go back to it. But then it’s so rock and roll, so sometimes when you end up going back to it, it just feels so good. Playing that song makes me feel like I’m 13 and in my bedroom again playing Fall Out Boy songs or Switchfoot songs and I’ve fallen in love with music again. So I really like that aspect of that song and it kind of goes along with the theme of the song as well, taking you back to your youth in some senses. I also love “are you there?” It lays back in this really cool groove that I think feels really incredible. That’s one that Avery and I wrote together.

“Cigarettes” and this upcoming album are your first releases since 2020. How does it feel to put out music for the first time in a few years?
Alexandre: It’s definitely daunting. I feel like for me personally, it’s always daunting to release music and you always feel like you the songs aren’t ready or you could do more to perfect them, which is part of the reason why we take so long to release music in between releases.
Avery: On the record, it’s getting better.
Alexandre: It’s getting better. We’re in a good spot moving forward, but it won’t be like this again. We took a little bit of an unintentional hiatus for a year or two, sort of in the middle of and following the pandemic. It’s been really good and refreshing to get these songs out there that have felt like they’ve needed to get out there for a while. I guess we’ve only just started that, but it is exciting to continue to do so and I feel our momentum is, like Avery said, headed in the right direction and I think we’re going to be able to keep the releases much more frequent moving forward.
Avery: I think that despite the time and despite the fact that it’s felt like we’ve had these songs for a long time, there is no time like the present. I’d say we still stand by everything in these songs and are super proud of where they are now. It feels like we’re in a really good spot creatively and in life to now put all of our energy into the releases, and everything that follows the releases with shows and everything.

When you guys announced that you were going to release some new music, how did people react? I imagine they were very excited to see some new material from you guys.
Alexandre: I think for starters, and this kind of goes back to the question that you had just asked, but we hadn’t released music since 2020 and since our last release we’ve had a lot more of a following than we did preceding our last release. We had “honey” really blow up off of our last project, and through that have gained a lot more listeners overall as well as just a dedicated fan base. So then when we went to release music again, I feel like we were all pleasantly surprised by how many people just on social media were reaching out and saying, “Oh my gosh, I’ve been waiting three or four years for this song. I can’t believe it’s finally happening.” Just an abundance of those types of posts and DM’s and things which were really cool and inspiring. I feel like some of my favorite bands, if they go off the map, I’m not necessarily always checking in to see what they’re up to, and so it’s cool to see that we were able to hop back into the thick of it and people were along for the ride.
Avery: Yeah, definitely. Especially because our last record was released the week after shutdown happened. So even getting to play a lot of the songs more often now in places that we didn’t get to play before because there was no playing then. Now we’re getting to go out and play those shows and see people singing songs that we released and couldn’t see the response to, and then go and play in other cities and see people respond to it and know it and say they’ve been listening to the song since it came out and they’ve been so excited to finally see it live. It’s cool. There’s the excitement of a new record that’s coming, and there’s also this really cool thing about finally being able to celebrate the last thing that we released and really feel like we’re doing what we wish we could have done three or four years ago. 

How have you guys changed in the last few years as musicians?
Alexandre: On a practical level, I think we’re all figuring out ways to push the band forward. In the past, to my own fault, I’ve felt like if I’m pushing the band forward then there’s momentum and things move forward and if not, it has felt like things fall off. And that’s partially due to my own leadership with the band, but I feel like now we’ve reached a spot where everybody is pushing together, as opposed to me pushing on my own, which feels really good and healthy. I think musician-wise I’ve spent a lot of time engineering and producing for other artists and that has really helped me have a clearer vision of how to do that well for Coastal Club, and I feel like we’re really equipped to make a lot of our own music and to do a lot more of that in-house. And Avery is incredible at all things visual animation, video work, photos, everything you could imagine. He absolutely kicks ass at it and I feel like we’re in a great spot to be able to do a lot of things on our own, which is a really valuable asset. I think as a band, especially in 2024 where you have to have things always – whether it’s new music, videos, TikToks – I think we’re in a great spot to be able to push and make a lot of that on our own. And we’ve all kind of matured as individuals too. We’re wiser with our decision making in music and outside of music. I feel like we can allocate our energy better.
Avery: And I think none of us stopped being creative in the meantime. It’s easy when you’re starting out in music to get really attached to parts, lyrics or sections of a song. So it’s hard when you go in to work with a producer for them to be critical and be like, “Well, that’s good. But what if we did this? It’s slightly better.” I think we’re at this point right now where we know the identity of the band. We know one another’s creativity well enough that – not that there were a ton of barriers before – but I feel like we sync up on things a lot more easily. Our creativity meshes. We all just get it with one another, which is really nice. And I think that took just maybe the time, maybe the last release, but also just us doing our own things and getting more comfortable with our own musicianship and creativity. For myself, I know I’m a more self-conscious individual, and so when I get into situations where I’m with creative people that inspire me, like Alex and David, I have a tendency to just sit back and let it happen. I think we’re all at this point where it’s very clear the value that we all bring to the band. That’s a sweet spot. It feels like we’re locked in. 

Ultimately, what can people expect from the new record coming out?
Alexandre: I think they can hopefully expect to be surprised a little bit. Like we’ve mentioned, it is a little bit of a departure from some of the sounds and themes that we have worked at in the past. So hopefully delight as well as surprise. Those two go well when they’re together. And I think hopefully it will be a project that has a little bit more weight to it and a little bit more substance. Not that our stuff hasn’t previously, but I think that moving forward we’ll probably want to have a little bit of a mixture between songs that feel light and bring some levity into people’s lives and then also being able to go to a place that has a little bit more weightiness to it. So hopefully the project can bring that into people’s lives.
Avery: I feel like some of my favorite bands, as they released music, they kind of grew alongside. As a band matured, you kind of felt like you also synced up with that, so you have nostalgia and you love the old music. But then the next one just lands in the right time for you and I hope that this album is that way. We will continue chasing that whatever that is. Not trying to stick to a brand of what people would expect from Coastal Club. It will always feel like Coastal Club, because it is Coastal Club, but we’ll not be afraid to chase new and fresh concepts and ideas and talk about things that we’re thinking about at that point in time, rather than just try to write the next “honey”. We’re just trying to write what feels right to us in that moment. So I hope people love that, because we love it and I think it’s great.

Aside from the upcoming album, are there any other plans or projects that people should be on the lookout for from you guys?
Alexandre: We’re going to be playing a lot more stuff live. Nothing that we can announce at the moment, but we’re working on stuff right now for late summer getting into the fall. We’ve got some stuff that we’re trying to line up, so that’s really exciting projects-wise. Avery has an amazing project called Boy Bandicoot that everybody should check out. At the moment, I think the main thing that we can announce is we have a new song that’s going to be coming out on May 17 called “conversation”, and then we’re going to be releasing one more single and then the full album. Then after that we’ve got one or two more surprises.

Did you two have any final thoughts or anything else you wanted to add?
Alexandre: We’re super grateful to anybody who listens to our music. It blows our minds. So if they’re reading this, we’re very thankful for them. And we’re thankful for this interview and your kindness so thank you!
Avery: Thank you for having us!

Keep up with Coastal Club: Instagram // TikTok // Spotify // Website

Justice Petersen
Justice Petersen
Justice Petersen is a Chicago-based music journalist and freelance writer. She is a recent graduate from Columbia College Chicago, having earned a journalism major with a concentration in magazine writing and a minor in music business. Justice regularly contributes artist interviews, On Your Radar features and various other articles for Melodic Magazine, serving as an interviewer, writer and editor. She also writes for several other online magazine publications, including Ghost Cult Magazine, Chicago Music Guide and That Eric Alper, and her work has been featured in Sunstroke Magazine, Fever Dream Zine, ChicagoTalks and the Chicago Reader. Her favorite band is Metallica and her go-to coffee order is an iced vanilla oat milk latte with strawberry cold foam on top.

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