Up & Up, the newest LP from Albany’s COUPONS, was always a long time coming and a far time off. The band themselves created it under the impression that either time or they may forget it before it was finished. Over four years, the members endured a lot of change — working through med school, cross-country moves, and false starts in the workplace — while writing an album that echoes the haphazard, accidental rhythm of adulthood. According to Coupons, “this is a creative renaissance for people you’ve never heard of,” a fact that’s immediately subject to change. “Up & Up” is the nuanced album that indie rock fans have needed for years, bursting with melodic riffs and nods to various styles, including classic rock, pop, and punk rock. Led by intriguing, warm and artsy lyricism interweaved with pop melodies, the album will make you want to hear it over and over again. To celebrate its recent release on Counter Intuitive Records, we have teamed up with the band to give you a special, full track by track breakdown below!
There aren’t many bands out there like Coupons. Their debut album, 2016’s Number One Hit Album, was an eclectic romp through a million different styles, frequently within the same song. They come off a little bit like a modern day Gatsbys American Dream, effortlessly crafting infectious songs that feel like little bits and pieces of the band’s influences stitched together into something new. – GetAlternative.com
All proceeds made from their Bandcamp sales will be donated to The Black Trans Advocacy Coalition.
90s Kids (Dan LaFave)
I had the image of stylized, Nickelodeon kids, like half remembering Pete and Pete or something, solemnly doing Karate moves in someone’s shitty backyard.
Moz Disco (Collin Reynolds)
This song is about getting older and being frustrated with dating. I had several relationships in my late 20s that felt meaningless. In an age where someone new is just a swipe away, it’s so easy to abandon things and start over. It can be emotionally exhausting to do that over and over again. I was dating people who were seeing multiple people and I was doing the same at the time. There’s a constant war for our attention . So the song is about giving a fictional character an ultimatum: “We’re either doing this or we’re not because I’m too old for this.”
Expectations and Plans (Dan LaFave)
I think the X factor here is how Dylan made the drums sound with his brain and hands by hitting them good and right and how Scoops made the drums sound with his brain and hands after the fact. A computer is a great machine, prominent in the home. And Scoops can harness the computer. Great bass from Troy Pohl. Nimble.
Tired (Collin Reynolds)
The opening lines are pretty clear. Sometimes I wish I was more creative and able to tackle more complex issues lyrically. I find it’s easier to write about these things though because they are salient. I was with someone at the time that I didn’t really love. That’s a horrible feeling and one that I think is more common than we’d like to admit. I felt distracted from my goals. It’s really a song about priorities. Getting your mental health in order, living an authentic life, appreciating your own accomplishments, and being honest with people when it’s really just not working out.
I Wanted (Dan Maddalone)
After some help from LaFave on retooling it, I settled on writing about not wanting to be a walk-on character in my own life, which is how I was feeling at the time.
Curser (Collin Reynolds)
This is a fictional song about unrequited love. I mean come on, who doesn’t have one of these? There is more depth to it than that, but I’d like the listener to relate to it in their own way.
Synesthesia (Collin Reynolds)
Hard Candy (Dan LaFave)
Heavily influenced by Doug Dulgarian from Jouska and TAGABOW. One of my favorite writers. Was thinking of the time I helped my Dad clean out my grandparents house when they went into a nursing home. Another example of our trust in Scoops paying dividends beyond what we even imagined was possible.
Ansel (Dan Maddalone)
A good friend of mine passed away several months before we started working on this album and it really fucked me up. One day I looked at his facebook and the last thing I wrote to him was “happy birthday, I love you, I miss you”. After seeing that, the song wrote itself in about 15 minutes. Special thanks to Scoops for pushing me to do it live in the studio and thanks to Molly Germ er for literally doing whatever she wanted on violin and elevating that song to a level that people seem to really connect with. Ansel was his middle name.
Don’t Let Me (Dan LaFave)
I wanted to write a song that seems sweet and sentimental until you realize there’s an undercurrent of bitterness and resentment. I knew that no one had attempted this before, but as a pioneering genius of songcraft, I knew that I owed it to my fans to at least try.
Maddalone and I had a great night recording the bones of this song at his house. I think we have a really special chemistry in the studio.
Comatose (Collin Reynolds)
People are getting married around you all the time in your late 20s. When you’re getting drunk at house parties and hitting on people just to find out they’re engaged, it forces some self-reflection. Apparently I have a lot to say about that topic.
The Beginning (Dan LaFave)
Stephen Hyden has noted, I think correctly, how music that very transparently takes itself seriously tends not to age well. If it is important for you to enjoy this song, now is the time.
Tongues (Collin Reynolds)
I grew up in an oppressively religious family, was homeschooled until 8th grade, spoke in tongues at one point, and am now very much an atheist. Sometimes I felt like “God’s love” was a substitute for people I knew growing up and having real human connections. I like incorporating religious themes into pop songs. It makes something traditional a little more interesting. The lyrics can be applied to losing faith as well as secular love. Ya dig?
Cars Pt. 2 (Dan LaFave)
Collin’s closer to our first album is one of my favorite songs of all time, full stop. I think that’s one of the benefits of being in a band with other songwriters- a song by your band can be one of your favorite songs and you don’t even feel self conscious about evangelizing it. (I’ve certainly had that experience with our keyboardist Shan in our other band geoff gordon.) I started writing this song when Shannon left me home with the garage band to demo a different song. She said it was easy to use. Jesus. What crap. I couldn’t work the machine and I wrote this song instead. I’m still completely in love with her.
After a ways in I had the idea of framing this as a companion piece to Cars, and I hope I did the original justice. Awesome to have Collin tie a bow on it at the end.
Hidden Track (Dan Maddalone)
Our drummer Dylan wrote a cool little Medium article on no one really owning anything in the digital age, noting of course that this is also just how life in general works. Besides the article he also wrote a little song about this idea that he sent as a voice memo with him keeping beat by patting his chest like a kickdrum and singing it as a kind of sudo chant/song hybrid. I took this idea, put music to it, our producer Scoops made it sound all spooky, and BOOM that’s how you make a hidden track, baby!