Coupleskate isn’t just something that made your palms sweaty in junior high — it’s also a tight indie-rock four-piece from Chicago! The ladies are getting ready to drop their first full-length album, Don’t Scare the Horses this spring.
Their story, like most, is kind of a long one. The quick and dirty version goes something like this: first there was Andrea Bauer (vocals, guitar) and Laura Watral (guitar, vocals, keys), who’d played together a bit while both students at the University of Iowa before pursuing their own musical ventures. They eventually reconnected in Chicago in 2002, along with bassist Carol Bales and drummer Jonathan Durlam.
But those two ended up falling in love and getting married, leaving Chicago in 2006 and leaving Bauer and Watral to find a new rhythm section and reconceptualize Coupleskate. They found Lauren Viera (bass) and Martha Williams (drums) in 2007, and since then the band’s sound has evolved dramatically from its self-released debut EP, Trophy, to the sound fans will finally experience in full with the release of Don’t Scare The Horses.
It’s thought-rock: that place where complex melodies and harmonies meet the simplest rules of a really good bass line, and evocative lyrics float over reverbed guitar solos. In a Jenny Lewis/Ben Gibbard kind of way, Bauer’s casual, calm voice has this way of pulling you in, its very tonality hinting that she knows something she’s not giving away just yet. On top of that, of course, you’ve also got the absolutely irresistably mellow harmonies — delicate, smooth, almost weightless — floating over driving rock beats.
On Don’t Scare the Horses the ladies also bring in the strings, like in the opening of “Laws of Physics,” where they pair perfectly with sustained reverb before drums and rhythmic guitar burst through the texture. You can have a listen to “Laws of Physics” below, and be on the lookout for a music video for the single coming soon. Also included below is “Friends in Pharmacies,” another track from Don’t Scare the Horses.
Coupleskate – “Laws of Physics”
Coupleskate – “Friends in Pharmacies”