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Date of Show: October 17, 2019

Location: Arlene's Grocery at New York, NY Interview & Review by: Brian Gallo Written by: Daniel Murdock Photo by: Jenny Rolapp Coastal Clouds is the solo project of Santa-Monica based Singer/Songwriter Roberto Rodriguez. Now residing in Los Angeles California, Coastal Clouds played their first-ever New York City show in support of their upcoming full-length Self-Titled debut album. I would like to thank Roberto Rodriguez for graciously taking the time for an interview before the Coastal Clouds set. East Coast Live: The name of your band Coastal Clouds, how did you come up with the name? Roberto Rodriguez: When I first moved to California, I saw the Marine Layer. What I experienced was unexpected on the beach. It was ironic. When you think of the California sky, you think of sunny skies, not cloudy. So I decided that Coastal Clouds will be the name of the band. Plus I didn't want to name it Roberto Rodriguez. Coastal Clouds sounded better for the name. ECL: Who are your influences in music? RR: The Birds, Bob Dylan, Wilco, Elliott Smith, Real Estate, and War on Drugs. John Lennon is a big influence and I would have to say Velvet Underground. They are a huge influence on my music. There's even a Velvet Underground cover on the set tonight. ECL: What album changed your life? RR: That is a really great question. The album that really changed my life is John Lennon's "Imagine". My dad played the song "Jealous Guy" a lot early on. That's when I knew that I wanted to be a musician. ECL: Your band's new Single "Comes From a Time." What was your inspiration for writing the song? RR: Daily comparison to others who are more successful than I am. Being dissatisfied, even if I had a roof over my head. A want for more, and being more successful. Trying to live in the moment. Comparing myself to others my age, who are more successful. The Beatles accomplished so much at the age of 22. It's kind of depressing. The internal struggle of having a wife and child and still feeling dissatisfied. Feeling like my time is running out. ECL: If you could tour with any band or artist who would it be? RR: Contemporary band Wilco, and also Real Estate. ECL: How would you describe your band's sound? RR: It's Psych Folk Rock, I hate the term West Coast Indie. Like, what's Indie? I would mainly describe it as Psychedelic Rock with traces of Folk. ECL: You have currently released an EP a couple of years ago. When is your full-length debut album going to be released? RR: October 25th. ECL: One last question. What are your plans after the next couple of shows that you have coming up on this tour? RR: Play more shows in Southern and Western California.mainly playing shows first. After that, record the next album in 2020. It's already written and just needs to be recorded. After the interview, Coastal Clouds played their set. Arlene's Grocery is the best sounding venue in the city and is personally one of my favorites in NYC. The small, intimate space makes it the perfect venue for Coastal Clouds to play their first show in NYC. Coastal Clouds might have played a short set but the band made every second count; with catchy melodies, great guitar riffs, amazing solos, a vintage vibe, and the best part, the songwriting. Rodriguez is a great lyrical storyteller, with a sound that I would describe as Folk Rock with a John Lennon twist to it. Coastal Clouds hit the stage with Roberto saying that "This is my first time playing in New York and I'm super stoked about it." The first song that the band played is "Bottle of Sunshine", a song from their EP Nothing to Hide. The song had a very catchy melody with a retro John Lennon vibe. The next song was the band's first single from the upcoming album, "Comes From a Time". After hearing the inspiration behind the song you get a real sense of how powerful the song is and what a great songwriter Roberto is. Next up was the song "Easy Train." The song is the band's latest single, which was released last Friday, October 11th. Roberto told the crowd how happy that he was to be playing in NYC and how happy that he is just to get out of Los Angeles. The song has classic John Lennon grooves and some of Bob Dylan's influence. Next, the band played "Slow Rider", a song from their EP Nothing to Hide. The song has a great melody with vintage Folk and Psychedelic Rock sounds. The chorus "slow rider you took a long time to find out what you need" is so heartfelt and powerful. After the song, Roberto once again told the crowd how happy he is to be out of LA. Then the band played the title track of their 2017 EP Nothing to Hide, before playing "Too Late to Runaway". The songs showcase more of the Psychedelic side of the band's style and I really liked them both. Next, Roberto told the crowd "We are going to play a cover. A song from a New York band that many of you may know. It's the Velvet Underground". The song was Sunday Morning. As a native New Yorker, I was very familiar with the original recording which was released in late 1966 with Lou Reed on vocals. I've got to say that Coastal Cloud's cover of the song was amazing. I hope that the band releases a cover album in the future. Roberto asked for the time and wanted to play for another 10 minutes. So the band played one more song, "Wanna Come Down". The song, released on the 2017 EP Nothing to Hide, is a perfect way to end the set with it's late 1960's and early 1970's Psychedelic Rock feel. In conclusion, I would recommend for everyone go and see Coastal Clouds live. When I first heard "Bottle of Sunshine" live, I instantly became a fan of the band. The band's sound is so authentic, and I was very impressed with Roberto's songwriting. He is a great lyricist/storyteller. Coastal Clouds will play a couple of West Coast dates; October 30th in Portland, OR, and November 1st in Seattle, WA. Their Self-Titled debut album is out on October 25th.

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