As his second LP for Dangerbird Records
and the follow-up to his well-received concept record Santa Rosa Fangs
– an album that revealed similar storytelling qualities present in the work of other likeminded American songwriters such as Kurt Vile and Damien Jurado – the forthcoming Yellow Coat
channels Costa’s raw emotion into a 12-track collection of hooky love songs, most of them awash in strings, Mellotron, harmonies and groove.
At the time that Costa started writing, he had stripped things down considerably, not only emotionally but in terms of his surroundings. He had moved into a Laguna Beach studio apartment with just the bare minimum of furniture and instruments. Instead of a bedside table, a Wurlitzer Sideman drum machine stands.
After connecting with notable producer Alex Newport (Death Cab for Cutie, At the Drive-In), the songs of Yellow Coat took shape with Costa enlisting the help of touring musicians and friends from afar. From the insinuating acoustic riffs and lo-fi beats of the album’s lead single “Avenal” to the snappy fatalism of “Slow,” Yellow Coat is brimming with bittersweet narratives of love’s power to both soothe and devastate.
Life does go on, however. The album ends with the last song Costa wrote for it, “So I Say Goodbye,” which provides a sense of closure, its piano-driven tunefulness feeling both uplifting and melancholic. And while Yellow Coat may have started as an album about heartbreak, its sense of sadness, continued hope and perseverance also feels completely universal right now. “My songs have always been something that transcends a feeling into something that is healing,” Costa adds. “I hope listeners and fans find these songs as personal and honest as they are to me.”