Back in early August, we—”we” meaning me, Milwaukee Record co-founder/editor Tyler Maas—boldly proclaimed Shontrail’s “When I’m Alone I Get Real High” to be the front-runner for Milwaukee’s song of the summer honors. Well, now that we’re in the midst of autumn and the remaining days of 2023 are dwindling, it’s about time to shift focus on another lofty-yet-unofficial distinction: Milwaukee’s song of the year.

Of course we’ll need more time to think it over, and yeah, there’s a chance something else could come along to unseat it between now and December 31, but as of Wednesday morning, we—again, “we” meaning me, Milwaukee Record co-founder/editor Tyler Maas—just might have to bestow the MKE SOTY honors to “Coasting, Mostly” by Barely Civil.

Aside from sporadic performances, including standout local shows like the Mitten Fest After Party at Cactus Club and opening for Caracara at X-Ray Arcade, the accomplished Milwaukee emo outfit has been relatively quiet since releasing its outstanding album, I’ll Figure This Out, in late 2020. That silence (at least in the recorded sense) was emphatically broken this week when the first Barely Civil single in more than three years hit streaming platforms.

“Coasting, Mostly” is nothing short of a ripper. Vocalist Connor Erickson‘s impassioned bellows are punctuated with frenzied instrumentation, complete with a pounding rhythm section and an intricate wall of guitar. We could dust off words like “angular” or “math-y” to describe it further, but why waste any more time? “Coasting, Mostly” rules. According to Take This To Heart Records (Barely Civil’s label), the boisterous track is the lead single from a forthcoming LP that’s due out sometime next year. As you wait for that, get ready to revise you Milwaukee song of the year list and listen to “Coasting, Mostly” now.

About The Author

Avatar photo
Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.