Coke Weed’s recent third LP, Back To Soft, saw Milan McAlevery and the rest of his band turn out a highly praised album that was produced and mixed by Nick Stumpf (Cavemen, French Kicks) and was compared to the likes of Galaxie 500 and Mazzy Star as well as peers like Pure X. McAlevey, the lead songwriter, previously formed a band called the Lil’ Fighters with Walter Martin who would later become a major player of the Walkmen’s ascendance.
After recording several albums at the Walkmen’s original Marcata Recording Studio in Harlem, McAlevey left the Fighters and New York for the wilds of Maine. In the years spent bouncing between Maine and New York, Milan teamed up with chanteuse Nina D. and the pair arrived in Bar Harbor, a quintessential New England island tourist town and an unlikely place to start a band. First Nina and Milan found a kindred spirit in guitarist Caleb Davis and asked him to join. Drummer Peter Cuffari and bassist Zach Soares quickly followed suit to complete the quintet.
The process of making Back To Soft was a direct reaction to the off-the-cuff feel of the previous album. Nine months in the making and every overdub lovingly laboured over, Coke Weed’s new album Back To Soft is rock music that holds a mirror to 2013 and refracts its moments.
The group established a studio in a barn at Chickadee Hill, a flower farm in the heart of Mt. Desert Island. Coke Weed’s first album, Volume One, was recorded on two Tascam 484 cassette recorders. The band gave it away for free on their web site in 2011. A second album, Nice Dreams, quickly took form when the band enlisted producer Nick Stumpf (Caveman, French Kicks) to record it completely live in ten days. Nice Dreams was released in April 2012 and Coke Weed completed two national tours that year where they shared stages with the likes of the Walkmen, Woods and Vetiver.
The band has been on the road throughout Autumn with an American tour of the east coast and midwest and will be wrapping up the tour with a few remaining dates on the east coast including stops on Boston, MA and Brooklyn, NY. Just in time for the tour’s conclusion, Coke Weed has shared the brand new, non-album cut “Nightlife” with Paste Magazine. It can also be streamed here via Soundcloud.
Back To Soft is an inevitable progression for the Bar Harbor, Maine based band. Renowned for their dual girl and boy lead singers, twinning electric guitars and mesmerising rhythm sections, Coke Weed always had an early fascination with the post-hippie acid fall-out more so than the summer of love. There’s a distinct menace lurking underneath their music as well as the breathless, enigmatic voice of Nina D.
You can catch Coke Weed live on the following dates:
Nov 23—Harlow’s Pub—Peterborough, New Hampshire
Nov 24–Machines with Magnets–Pawtucket, RI
Jan 10–The Grand–Ellsworth, M