It seems that we are finally beginning to be able to enjoy life again. And just in time, Maine-based artist Coyote Island is releasing a new song, and it's set to become our soundtrack for summer. "Here Before" is a breezy tune that blends folk, pop, reggae and R&B, written and performed by Mike O'Hehir, that you'll want to add to all your summer playlists.
O'Hehir, former frontman of indie-folk favorite Old Soul, just signed with UK-based streaming label Humble Angel, which debuted the track on Friday, June 26 on several platforms via this link, with plans to release more singles on a monthly basis.
Coyote Island is a "culmination of musical influences and experiences that I’ve had over the years," O'Hehir tells AIROWS. "I really loved the intimacy of the folk music scene, but I felt like there was something missing for me. I knew I wanted to write songs with energy behind them that could cross genres and translate to big festival performances."
In the winter of 2020, O'Hehir teamed up with producers Nic Coolidge and Dan Verrill of the indie-pop duo Dazy Park. They holed up for a few days in O'Hehir's farmhouse studio on the coast of Maine, which was "well-stocked with Chartreuse and LSD," he laughs. The result was "Here Before."
As for the name Coyote Island, O'Hehir explains that it's "a reference to the 'trickster' archetype—the Coyote is an example of that. It’s a personality that’s always changing, hiding, surprising you."
Island meanwhile "comes from both a sense of isolation... When you’re on an island, you could look at it as either a very lonely place, which can be scary. Or you can see it as a place of endless self-discovery. I also just love the breezy island vibe and definitely play with that in the music."
"Here Before" is about feeling a sense of familiarity, recognizing a pattern," O'Hehir says. "And it’s also about soul searching and finding love. It’s about having a realization that you will never forget, and the sense of nostalgia that follows us."
Music, he notes, "is a really powerful force. It connects all of us and there’s no barrier to entry. Personally, when I’m feeling any tension in life, I turn to music because it alleviates negativity, so I can move forward with a clear heart and mind."