Coyote Island comments on a wild year and more for 2024

Coyote Island comments on a wild year and more for 2024
Photo cred: Erik Fralick

One of the best bands to listen to for all occasions is Coyote Island — a name recently added to Ineffable Records’ growing roster of artists! The band is from the beautiful state of Maine; their music is such a breath of fresh air that brings about a certain ‘folk-acoustical dance vibe’ with astounding style, true musicianship, and spellbinding lyrics.

Coyote Island founder Mike O’Hehir had a vision to create something from his travels.

A singer-songwriter with a super eclectic sound, O’Hehir combines his talent as a multi-instrumentalist with an exceptional group of players at his side. Rooted in folk music, he and his band create genre-bending soundscapes filled with positive harmonies and super catchy riffs. I am telling you, I cannot stop listening to them!

In 2022, Coyote Island gained popularity after performing a super clean and harmonious Sugarshack Session that caught the eye and ears of fans across the world. Check out “Here Before”… it, to me, is a love song of trying to find that special someone, all the while reminding listeners to have hope and enjoy life while we search. With beautiful acoustics and smooth lyrical content, this song totally sets you free!

Another great song is “River”; it’s got this catchy mellow vibe that makes you want to grab the cutie next to you and hit the dance floor! The band’s name in itself is fantastic — romantic, yet haunting and rebellious. We had a chance to chat with O’Hehir for a deeper dive and here’s what he said:

How did you come up with the name ‘Coyote Island’?

  • MO: I was at a darker period in my life a few years back and the coyote spirit was calling me. As I learned more about that trickster archetype and its hidden meaning, I noticed a profound shift in my own energy and perception. Coyote taught me how I was tricking myself and to trust in this process of unraveling, to be free of (most of my) ego and operate from the heart. Coyote showed me how I was (and still) in my own way. The story isn’t just happening to us, we are narrating it every day! I woke up one night from a dream at 2am and wrote down ‘Coyote Island’ and in the morning I knew it was my musical project.

Was it hard to find bandmates?

  • It was a kind of ‘if you build it, they will come’ situation. It was 2020, COVID times, and I started recording on my own. The sound was developing and I knew I would need a band to pull it off live. I used to jam with my boy Brendan Shea, but we didn’t really play many shows or anything. When Amir Rivera and Garrett Jones came onboard, things got real onstage. Brendan dipped out to focus on his own lane and Ryan Benoit came in on drums. After a few shows, we felt like a real band and these dudes have become my family.

You recorded and dropped an album this past year! Tell us all about it.

  • Yes, the first full-length album is out! It’s called Holy Illusion and I’m quite proud of the thing. Even though the live sound has developed so much and I feel I’ve grown as an artist, this record represents some big chapters in my life. It tells a personal story that is (hopefully) accessible and relatable. The journey of light and darkness; the perpetual quest to know oneself and to live in harmony and oneness. Of course, many challenges and pitfalls [have come] along the way, which inevitably become the lessons and nuggets of wisdom carrying forth loving kindness and awareness. Most of the album was created at my house here in Maine, with additional production and tracking from both Nic Coolidge and Spencer Thomas. It was mastered by Adam Aayan and released on Ineffable Records, who have been a tremendous help sharing these vibrations. 

Any sneak peaks for 2024? 

  • I’m here in my studio, combing through demos and thinking about the next single. I’m sitting on so much music and exciting collaborations in the works with international artists. We also have a couple music videos just dropped! And our second Sugarshack session down in Florida! 

Coyote Island just joined forces with Certainly So for a 17-date co-headlining tour through October — an amazing indie folk mashup! If you missed it live, we’re sure Coyote Island will be coming soon to a town near you! 

Coyote Island – “Here Before”

Stream Coyote Island ‘Holy Illusion’ album:

Cover and thumbnail photo by Erik Fralick

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