Los Angeles-based Bennett Coast has gifted fans with a deeply personal collection of music with the release of his debut EP Where Are You Going? A recollection and reemergence of the music that soundtracked the 22-year-old artist and filmmaker’s transition from adolescence into adulthood. While also serving as the culmination of the four years he’s spent writing, recording, producing, and even directing his own music videos.
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The six-song EP revisits the moments when one’s identity was in flux — when you were lost in the liminal spaces that lie between self-discovery and a suffering desire to fit the mold of other people’s expectations. Its opening track “On My Side” meanders into this bittersweetness guided by Coast’s earnest warble and an overflow of confessional intimacy. “What did you want from me?” he asks against strummed guitars before asserting, “I’m changing inside.”
But affirmations and confrontations directed at himself and others abound on Where Are You Going? On “Bender” he retells a hazy memory of drunken foolhardiness, wrestling hopelessly against the collateral damage of its aftermath and ruminating over the pettiness that started it all. Doing it all over this dually energizing and melancholic melody of steadily droning riffs.
“Driver” hitches itself to this nostalgia-scratching memory of sixteen. One that Coast hitches to a tangle of robust beats, dreamy guitars, and shape-shifting vocal deliveries. “Disguise” offers another switch-up in his sound, stretching its gleaming melody into a gauzy and electric ballad of romantic longing.
“Now I Know You” envelops and closes the EP with a slow-burning but ecstatic swell of emotion. Beginning over the grate of guitars and made luminous by Coast’s glowing vocals, the track is a triumphant and compassionately steadfast recognition of identity. While its music video, which he also directed, provides a stunning array of visuals that contextualize the song’s already poignant grasp at tenderness and love.
In an Instagram post, Coast said of the EP: “Through the years I have sifted through large crops of musical ideas, carefully selecting the songs that most sharply decorate a time in my life. The result of these selections is gathered here, a synthesis of confessions, meditations, and declarations that emerged through the ages of 18 and 21. I have written and produced each track at fundamentally different stages of my life.”
Words: Steven Ward
Listen to Where Are You Going? the new EP from Bennett Coast below!