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Maria & the Coins, Blue Swans, & Scarlet Dans Ma Rue | LMR

Maria and the Coins - Forward (self-released)

Forward, the debut album from Maria and the Coins, is a collection of long-lost musical theatre songs. It makes sense, given frontwoman Maria Coyne's background in the theatrical realm, that these ten songs hearken to the emotionally-bare pop-rock of shows like Waitress and similarly dramatic music. The quintet plays with these sensibilities and whips them around with fluidity.

After being diagnosed with Lupus in her freshman year of college, Coyne was faced with intense physical and emotional struggles. The resolve she gladly found within is freely represented all across Forward. From the first moments of album opener "Two Years From Now" through to the sugary closer "Tonight," Coyne and co. command attention with her exceptional vocals and the band's stellar, propulsive instrumentation. The ten tracks sustain momentum for the album's whole 41-minute duration.

Maria and the Coins is Sheldon Way (drums), Adam Maurer (bass), Zaq Baker (keys), Nick Baker (guitar), and Maria Coyne (vocals/lyrics).

Blue Swans - "On My Own" 

I'm about two months late to this one, but better late than never.

"On My Own" is the debut single from Christina Swangim's electro-pop project and title track from her forthcoming EP. She partnered with Eau Claire's Kyle Culver to produce the standout track. Ostensibly it's a testament to the power of moving on, even if things aren't necessarily perfect. Swangim details the puzzle pieces of a changing life, realizing that they fit together better than expected. Her soulful vocals are paired with the just slightly off-kilter production — each electronic hum and throbbing drum hit elevate the singing.

On My Own (the EP) will be out on March 14th, 2020.

Scarlet Dans Ma Rue - "Shaper Shaper" (self-released) 

I think this might be what the end of the world sounds like. Sign of the times, y'know?

Scarlet Dans Ma Rue is a relatively new experimental music project consisting of Morgan Peterson and Josh Frenier. At least that's what I think it is. Everything is drowning in chaotic confusion by design. Last fall, the duo released their debut EP, Every Step Is Moving Me Up! New single "Shaper Shaper" builds on the cacophony the duo discovered on that release.

Peterson sings theatrical nonsense over what sounds like a vacuum cleaner being put through a paper shredder. The droning disintegration of something like Metal Machine Music is blended with the noisiest aspects of mid-00's Animal Collective to utterly insane results. There's an inherent thrill in hearing the vibrato-heavy melody of Peterson's vocals swerving in and out of  the turbulence with which it's blasted.

We may never truly understand what Scarlet Dans Ma Rue is or what it aspires to be. I can rest easy knowing that the band seemingly doesn't want anyone to know. The music is meant to be taken at face-value, which is very fitting.


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