photos / Jena Cumbo
words / Gina Tron
Coast Modern’s fun, coastal tunes from Los Angeles are washing ashore. Coleman Trapp and Luke Atlas formed the band in 2015: Luke, who is from Seattle, quickly became friends with Coleman, a Los Angeles native, when he moved to the sunshine state four years ago.
“I had been in L.A. a week and didn’t know anybody,” Luke reflects. “A friend introduced me to Coleman and we started working on random projects.”
The band says that musically the two just hit it off: “Our processes were similar to making music,” explains Coleman.
Although their processes were alike, their styles and tastes varied. Luke is into more upbeat, poppy tunes while Coleman is influenced by the 1960s and urban music; Coast Modern reflects their different styles and tastes, which have merged into something totally new and unique, and they now describe their music genre as the “kitchen sink.”
“We are in a really unique time in music history and the death of the genre,” states Coleman, who says that they like to make music that just feels good. “We are at a tipping point where we can get online and learn to produce anything. There are so many musical influences coming from every direction.”
“We draw from all the genres,” says Luke, adding that they recently sat at an Indian food restaurant, where they were inspired by its music.
The duo says that their music has become more honest as a result of their recent healthier lifestyle. Five years ago they were drinking regularly, but now they are more into hiking and healthy activities, which includes exploring Los Angeles and its surrounding areas.
“We found a place where we are comfortable with ourselves and trusting to make something that we really enjoy,” Luke says.
Their name, Coast Modern, is named after the coast of California. A play on the “postmodern,” the two said that they try to push the edge of music all they can, and this year, they played SXSW for the first time.
“That was amazing,” reflects Luke. “That was our first live exposure and it was really surprising for me the amount of people who were singing along to songs that we released.”
The band says that there was so much energy in the audience that it was a nice break for them—they usually spend a lot of time on the computer and recording, somewhat isolated.
They also played a headlining show in June in Brooklyn, and over the summer they worked on music videos for upcoming songs. One such video was for “Hollow Life,” a song about disenchantment. The band directed the video and it is now available to watch online: It features the two musicians standing on rooftops and cars, pouring gasoline on streets, surrounded by palm trees.
And with the upcoming music they are working on, they say that they don’t want to put any cap on how weird they can get.
This fall, Coast Modern will be touring around the country playing in Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota as well as Canada.