- Bryon Harris
Maria and the Coins - 'I Was Her'
Review by Anthony Nguyen & Staff
Maria and the Coins are an indie pop group who distinguish themselves in the Minneapolis alt-rock scene by fusing singer-songwriter driven pop hooks with the vulnerability and honesty of an indie band. Frontwoman Maria Coyne's powerhouse vocals are matched with emotive storytelling. The band has opened for local and touring artists such as Betty Who, Jeremy Messersmith, Delacey, and Reina del Cid. The band’s debut full-length album 'Forward' was released on March 5th, 2020 and is available now for streaming and download.
With a stunningly gorgeous vocal and incredible songwriting, “I Was Her” by Maria and the Coins is outstanding. The piano is really what glues the song together. It’s tone is warm and gentle, and Zaq Baker delivers a masterful performance conveying confidence and emotion with every note. The rhythm section is extremely tight, with Adam Maurer and Sheldon Way playing drums and bass, respectively. They do an excellent job providing the song with a rock solid foundation.
The real star of show seems to be the vocal however. Sung by Maria Coyne, her performance is simply electric. Ranging from intimate and in your face, to powerful outright belting, she does a great job navigating these rocky waters. Her vocal is captivating, relying on her technical prowess but even more her ability to connect emotionally with listeners that makes it especially unique.
There are some serious producing and arranging chops being displayed here. Every moment seems to be chock full catchy guitar riffs, a vocal line or drum fill that ensures there is never a dull moment. Pacing is really, really well done. There are moments that allow the song to breath and other moments of cathartic bliss. The intro is deceptively simple, with just guitar, piano and vocals starting it off. All the musicians performances are so outstanding, that they hold the listeners attention before the whole band comes in for a thrilling first chorus. There is a guitar solo in the middle song played by Nick Baker that is outstanding. Simplistic and endearing, it completes the difficult task of being a palate cleanser before going into the verse. Towards the end the song there is a breakdown portion that really works well for the pacing that gives the song a good buildup into the charismatic last chorus. The mixing by Stephen Helvig is top tier, every instrument has their own place in the frequency spectrum and the focus on what’s important is never lost.
The inspiration for the song comes from trying to find the strength to move forward when you're not quite sure how you got where you are. It's about looking for answers and reminiscing about a past self. For such sensitive material, Coyne writes some really insightful lyrics. “Her time isn't over, but it's stranger getting older…She had no reason to complain, No reason to change, But she did somehow, someway,” is just one instance of some of the fantastic lyric writing. This song is a flat out masterpiece. Every element, from the expert playing from the band to the clean mix is well done, and the song lacks in no category. With a heartfelt vocal performance and amazing production, “I Was Her” by Maria and the Coins is an outstanding achievement in songwriting.
Stream on Spotify
For more information on Maria and the Coins, please visit their website.
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