Coastin' Review: Iration deliver a summer-ready reggae record that promises to ease those quarantine blues
The band have taken their sound to new heights with this album, blending their breezy reggae style with a variety of other genres to create unique music
Reggae-influenced alternative rock band Iration is gearing up for the release of its seventh full-length album Coastin' on July 10, and the breezy record is all about being thankful for the moments that we have, making it the perfect summer release to help you weather the coming months.
Much can be said about Iration's latest offering. The 13-song musical journey, which includes the reggae-leaning anthemic single 'Right Here Right Now' featuring Eric Rachmany from Rebelution and Stick Figure as well as the band's 2019 single 'Chill Out', showcases the Hawaiian-bred, California-based quintet’s distinct hybrid sound that blends rock and reggae with elements of pop and newly incorporated R&B, funk, and jazz, all set against meaningful and personal lyrics that push positivity, good vibes, and good feelings into the world.
The album also has guest appearances from Common Kings and Hawaiian-based female reggae vocalist Eli-Mac. Coastin' was produced and co-written by David Manzoor and engineered by Will Brierre, who were both behind the boards for the band's previous albums 'Iration' and 'Hotting Up', and features an impressive blend of song and mix engineers who helped make each song unique and fresh.
Since their formation over 15 years ago, Iration, which includes Micah Pueschel (lead vocals/guitar), Adam Taylor (bass), Joe Dickens (drums), Cayson Peterson (keyboard/synth), Micah Brown (guitar/vocals), has earned critical praise from top publications and alternative radio stations alike. They've had several charting releases, including 2015's 'Hotting Up' and 2013's 'Automatic' both of which peaked at #1 on Billboard's Reggae Albums Chart as well as 2018's 'Iration', 2016's 'Double Up' and 2010's 'Time Bomb', each of which reached #2 on the chart.
The celebrated five-piece, known for their vivacious live performances and relentless touring, has brought their aloha spirit to massive music festivals like Lollapalooza and SXSW in addition to special events for the San Francisco Giants, San Francisco 49ers, and Bernie Sanders. In addition to their sold-out headlining shows across the country including last summer’s massive amphitheater outing, Iration has also toured and appeared alongside Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution, Sublime With Rome, UB40, Dirty Heads and many more throughout their impressive and growing career.
And all through their journey, they've kept their unique genre-blending reggae-leaning sound at the forefront, carving out a niche for themselves and setting themselves apart. But on Coastin', the band truly shines like never before. Their sound is a perfect blend of genres and feel-good vibes. On this record, Iration has truly found their quintessential smooth sound, by combining their varied influences and modern music techniques with the energy of live music and the vibe of a band playing together.
'Right Here Right Now' is easily a standout on the album, featuring some gorgeously smooth instrumentation and vocals from the band paired with lyrics that truly remind you to enjoy the moment. The band's newly-released music video for the track celebrates the essential frontline workers, first responders, and everyday people helping throughout the Covid-19 pandemic via a wide selection of fan-submitted photos.
"We made this video to honor those who have stepped up and gone above and beyond during the last few months to ensure the health, safety, and prosperity of their communities," the band shares. "In times of global uncertainty and civil unrest, we all must realize that we are stronger together, and that starts in our own communities. Regardless of your beliefs, everyone eventually needs a helping hand, a shoulder to lean on, a compassionate ear to listen, or a voice of reason to guide us along our way. Thank you to everyone out there who is striving to be part of the solution, Right Here and Right Now."
The record also includes several other gorgeously-crafted tracks. 'Fancy', which revolves around the complexities of a relationship and how sometimes you just need to relax and enjoy the simpler things, is a groovy, funky tune which feels like a throwback to decades past. Songs like 'Contact High' and 'Smile' lean more into pop/rock, while 'Zen Island' is a reggae-R&B-jazz-pop dream that really demonstrates the band's ability to blend genres seamlessly.
The group naturally shines the most on reggae tracks, such as the appropriately-named 'Chill Out', but it is evident the group's skills range far beyond the sound they're known for. Each track on this offering is worth listening to, and when put together, this is an album that's perfect to relax with on a warm summer day as you enjoy the world for what it is and don't think too hard about what comes next. Speaking about the record, Pueschel shares, "Coastin' is a song about slowing down and letting the world and life come to you."