Iration has a new album out during the pandemic: “Coastin’.”
Like other bands, its summer tour was rescheduled to 2021 due to COVID-19. Iration released its seventh album on July 10, 2020 — just in time for fans to enjoy some positivity during the pandemic.
Originally hailing from the island of Hawaii, these guys now call California home. They began in 2006, recording their first full-length album the following year.
Frontman Micah Pueschel let us know that the album was written pre-lockdown: “Being thankful for right now and simpler things in life — nature, love, relationships, family and friendships — the most important things in life. … This album sounds different than previous albums. We wanted it to have a discernible feel to it.”
‘Coastin’ ” is appropriately named because it takes you to where you wish you were, sitting on the beach with a fruity umbrella drink in hand. It’s chill and reminds you to soak up the moments right now.
“The reason we called it Coastin’ was we wanted it to feel like an album that makes you feel like you’re driving down the coast in a convertible with the wind in your hair and the sun shining on your face.” Pueschel said. “Almost that ‘70s California feel, trying to recreate something that was a classic feel.”
“The production and writing side was super collaborative. The whole band worked together writing, more together than in previous records on all pieces. It was a good experience and collaborative effort.”
The guitars and keys sound good. I think the drums and vocals stand out the most in this record. It was nice to hear Micah Brown (guitar and backup vocals) take the lead vocals on “Home Tonight.”
“Micah Brown is a solo artist in his own right — he has a higher pitch than I do. I’m looking forward to playing it live so I can just cruise and play guitar for a song.”
You can tell some of the boys are in love as it reflects in the lyrics, but it seemed like it more than being in love but being in love with life and where they are in their personal journeys.
Brown recently married, as did Pueschel, who welcomed a new baby girl and has enjoyed watching her grow.
“Everybody was in a good place and that really added to the whole vibe of the album.” Pueschel said.
Iration staples are in place: atmosphere, positive thoughts, reminiscing, quality guest appearances and a nice, full record. Hints of R&B, some funk and classic reggae are all there . Guests include Sasualei “Jr King” Maliga from Common Kings, Stick Figure (Scott Woodruff), and Eric Rachmany of Rebelution, also Hawaiian singer Eli-Mac (best known for her appearance on “American Idol”). Some classics, too, that fans will look forward to hearing live.
“More guests artists on this one, a well-rounded group of men and women with different sounds,” Pueschel said. “We wanted to work with different artists and have multiple collaborations”.
The band enjoys playing at Lake Tahoe, calling it one of the ideal places to have a concert. They come visit often as well as when they come to perform. Cayson Peterson (keyboards) has family in Truckee, so Iration has Tahoe family ties as well as friends and fans. They can’t wait to go back out on tour for this record when it’s safe to do so.
Drake Peterson (trumpet) hosts a hilarious podcast with friend Jimmy Jew.
The boys are staying busy during this time with lots of family time, still doing live feeds, trying to stay healthy, with Pueschel working out on a Pentatonix bike. The band has a twitch channel (attwitch.tv/irationlive) they talk about music, do some live stuff, video games and lots of interaction with the fans. They also host their own podcast called “The Uplifter,” sticking to a light vibe and taking a break from bad news and negativity.
“The podcast is a way for us to get together as a band. We have been missing that tour bus morning coffee, hanging out on the road, making each other laugh The Uplifter feels like that,” Pueschel said.
His favorite track? A tough question, he said, then mentioning “Contact High,” “Guava Lane,” “If You Only Knew,” and “Learn from Me,” the latter being about his daughter. Check out Iration’s website (irationmusic.com) to keep on future dates. Fans all know they can’t wait to go to a show again.
— Pheonix Gruneich