Coastal formed in 1999 as a hybrid of several musicians who had played for years in different bands in the Provo, Utah area. Singer and guitarist Jason Gough had been involved in shoegaze style bands for several years (Lumiere, The Mantarays, Azure) and it was through such bands that he met up with bassist Josh Callaway (Just Lucy). A middle ground was sought between Jason's shoegaze and Josh's slocore leanings as the duo started to write songs together.

As their music developed, Gough and Callaway enlisted Jim Harker (Stigma, The Melody Tree) to take on drum duties and occasionally play second guitar. Interestingly, Gough and Harker both originally hailed from Southern Alberta, Canada and lived 20 minutes from each other, but never met until Coastal was formed. With the main structure in place and a sound of their own emerging, the trio felt the music needed an additional presence. Sarah Holyoak then joined to play organ and sing backing vocals to complete Coastal's line-up. Within a year Holyoak left the group and Luisa Gough (Jason's wife) took over on keyboards and backing vocals, to comprise the quartet that is Coastal today.

In May 2000, the band self-released a five-song CDr EP. These songs caught the ear of Words On Music and were remastered and combined with three new recordings for their self-titled debut, released on Words On Music in March 2001. Coastal is an inspired blend of restraint and tonal splendor, punctuating the contemplative atmospheres developed by artists such as Low and Ida. "Northern" is a lasting piece with a guitar melody that aches from measure to measure, buttressed by Calloway's sturdy bass. "Cinder" is a slightly more optimistic affair, hinting at the brighter moments of Angelo Badalamenti's music on Twin Peaks. The album was released to great acclaim, and songs from Coastal were played by John Peel, the renowned British DJ, on his BBC Radio 1 show.

In May, 2001 the UK independent label Becalmed Records released a 7" of "Northern" and "Cinder." A 10" of new material entitled Winter was released in 2002 on Dreams By Degrees and later the same year a split CD with Midsummmer featuring five new tracks was released by Sunseasky.

In 2004 Coastal recorded their second full-length album, Halfway To You, released in August of that year by Words On Music. The album features nine new songs that highlight the Gough's breathtaking interweaving vocals, and is the most sophisticated and stunning collection of Coastal songs to date. Halfway To You retains the fragile beauty of their debut, but evokes a more textured ambiance, owing in part to a wider array of instrumentation employed on these new songs — including cello, bells, acoustic guitar, found samples, and viola (courtesy of Lorna's Helen Maltby). Gough's sparse songwriting earnestly beckons the listener to join him on his alternately optimistic and melancholic pursuits. With Luisa adding her enchanting voice to nearly every song, the result is a union of harmonies that rivals the best of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker (Low) and Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell (Slowdive / Mojave 3). Halfway To You is a welcome reminder that leisurely-paced music can also shimmer and beguile.

In March 2015 Words On Music will release Beneath the Snow and Streetlights - the band's third album including its first new material in a decade. The record features 15 songs including five new songs plus rarities and alternate and acoustic versions.

Coastal has performed live in Utah and on the West Coast, including opening for luminaries such as Low, American Analog Set, The Czars, Timonium and The Autumns. Highlights for the band include opening for Low in London in 2003 at a sold out show of over 1300 people at the famed Union Chapel.

Josh Callaway - bass
Jason Gough - guitar, vocals
Luisa Gough - organ, vocals
Jim Harker - drums


Words On Music Releases

Full Discography
  • Coastal (Words On Music, 2001) CD
  • Northern (Becalmed Records, 2001) 7"
  • Winter (Dreams by Degrees, 2002) 10"
  • This Ageless Night (Sun Sea Sky Productions, 2002) Split CD with Midsummer
  • Halfway to You (Words On Music, 2004) CD
  • Beneath the Snow and Streetlights (Words On Music, 2015) CD

  • Compilation tracks
  • Lonely This Christmas? (Startrip Records, 2001) CD snow in bethlehem
  • We are not alone - songs for the lo-fi generation - volume four (Best Kept Secret, 2001) cassette celesta
  • Our Turn Compilation (Supernal Industry, 2002) CD calvary
  • A Moonpalace Records Compilation (Moonpalace Records, 2003) CD eternal
  • The Pet Series: The Bird (Sally Forth Records, 2003) CD an august night
  • This Is My Country (Jabalina Musica, 2004) CD leaves
  • Into the Glasshouse (Ocean Music, 2005) CD drift
  • Love In the Time of COVID (VeniVersus, 2020) Digital album CovidLOVE