Coastal does not feel like a product of the lockdown that it was produced in. The EP takes the listener on a sonic holiday, with Miami artist Bandeauxx leading you on an audio world tour as if the lockdown was a mere memory. Clocking in at just over 10 minutes, its a some much needed escapism during this pandemic that feels like a small slice of island life on a getaway. Bandeauxx said of the album that it draws inspiration from films such as Belly and Shottas and it’s easy to see why. Even just from the cover, which leans into classic vaporwave aesthetics, you can perfectly draw an idea of the tropical and electronic elements that the songs within blend together so seamlessly.
Immediately it is much louder and more direct than his last project, 2019’s Steady State. Whereas that album was self described as “Lo-fi dancehall,” Coastal maintains the presence of dancehall inspirations such as Vybz Kartel, but takes them to the opposite extreme, bringing his electronic influences such as Baauer to the fore. The blending in of electronic instrumentation is exemplified by the combination of thumping bass, buzzing synths and, rattling drums throughout the project that are melded with classic dancehall rhythms.
“Waste No Time” is a boisterous opener. It sees Bandeauxx rapping over some of his best production yet, with the feel of a classic dance anthem. The high tempo feels almost fraught and its a pulse raising intro. “Rarri” continues this swaggering start with a relentless flow full of auditory escapism, with Bandeauxx . We even see Bandeauxx show off his singing chops on “Pretender” featuring Dash Adams who’s harsh flow provides an excellent contrast to Bandeauxx’s auto-tune tinged crooning.
The undoubted standout however has to be “Paradise”. The funky bassline and lush instrumental make it an instantly danceable tune sure to be stuck in your head. It’s a definite highlight and, much like the rest of the EP, truly makes you feel as if you are in a “jungle paradise” as the hook so catchily says. It’s the strongest point of an EP that perfectly encapsulates Bandeauxx’s career so far, drawing from a myriad of his influences to bring his punchiest and catchiest work to date.
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