When Hailee Steinfeld released her second EP, Half Written Story, in 2020, it was only one part of the story she was meant to tell. Following a more reflective period during the pandemic, the singer, songwriter, and actress began writing a collection of songs entering a new era of her life—more confident and less angsty, all starting with the easy breezier “Coast,” co-written and recorded with Anderson .Paak.
“I had this idea that I should get into this bigger picture project that I have been dreaming of making,” Steinfeld tells American Songwriter. “On ‘Half Written Story,’ I got off my chest what I needed to, which was a range of emotions from being angry and very emotional and frustrated and sad, which I had been feeling for a while. Then, I got into this other world, and ‘Coast’ was the first song that came about.”
Working with Canadian producer Koz, known for his work on Dua Lipa’s 2020 release Future Nostalgia, Steinfeld enters a more lightened scene on “Coast.” Also co-written with Mikky Ekko and Gabe Simon, “Coast” emits more dopamine highs and sunnier (California) days—You’re the wave upon the ocean / Poundin’ rhythm and motion / It’s a full moon kind of night / I don’t wanna go home yet / You can question my devotion / Wear my heart on my shoulder / Just relax and let the riptide pull you close … Parties in LA feel like holidays / Hit the PCH and we on the way.
“It’s one thing to write the music and be in a room with incredible people and feel like you’ve got to put it out into the world to take on a life of its own,” says Steinfeld, of songwriting now. “It’s out of my head and into yours. There’s a whole new life beyond what my original connection to the song is, but after putting those songs out [‘Half Written Story’], I wanted to create this world full of creativity and freedom.”
Holed up during the pandemic, Steinfeld began crafting her new world of songs, including “Coast,” which she initially began working on in her makeshift home studio before rerecording at EastWest Studios in Los Angeles, where The Beach Boys recorded Pet Sounds. Continue reading “Hailee Steinfeld on Writing the ‘Second Half’ of Her Story, and Anderson .Paak Collaboration”