Yam Haus – ‘West Coast’

Yam Haus is a synthesizer-anchored rock fourpiece from Hudson, WI. The single “West Coast” is taken from the group’s full-length Stargazer.

The song’s sound is bright and hopeful. The lyric is not quite so confident, though. These words focus on a relationship that isn’t quite working out. Its title comes from how the protagonist is “hanging in the west coast” in his heart. This ‘west coast’ is an imaginary place where the thoughts and feelings are much warmer than actual reality. The singer also bemoans “stumbling in the dark.”

We never do learn exactly what this other one has done to him. He sings about how this person doesn’t want to be sad anymore. What’s mad the other sad? What’s thing inside this person’s heart that he keeps referring to? It’s all a big, vague mystery.

Although synthesizer carries the melody, there is also an underlying funky guitar groove. These primary elements are placed over a dance-y, jazzy beat.

Strangely, the singer states, “I’ve got a reason to sing/I’m finally listening.” This is an unusual response to admitted confusion. Is he heartbroken, or is he just happy to be free from this sad mate? It’s difficult to figure out exactly what the singer is feeling. In fact, it’s as confusing as the mate he’s describing.

Lars Pruitt is the group’s vocalist, and this song sounds a little like Maroon 5. Pruitt sings with a high voice, but one not nearly as girly-high as Adam Levine’s.

The song includes an outro line of, “What’s inside your heart?” No pun intended, but this seems to be the heart of the matter. Pruitt can’t move on in this relationship because the contents in the heart of his lover are unknowable. And really, it’s impossible for humans to see what’s inside another’s heart. Sure, we can see what another’s heart prompts them to do, but not even a heart surgeon can see the innerworkings of another’s emotional center. Therefore, Pruitt is wishing for the impossible; to be the first to see what exactly makes another person tick.

Maybe this is all over-analysis, anyhow. Our protagonist doesn’t make a lot of sense because complicated relationships often lead to inner confusion. He doesn’t know how he feels. He doesn’t know how this other one feels. They both don’t know where their relationship is going. And with love and romance, there are no sure things.

Unpredictability aside, “West Coast” is a fun, melodic, memorable little song. You don’t really need to think too hard about it. Instead, enjoy the sunny melodic lines and don’t try too hard to figure out your romantic partner. Instead of worriedly longing for the west coast, just coast along, instead.


-Dan MacIntosh