Come of Age With ericdoa’s ‘COA’

Eric Lopez, also known as ericdoa and dante red, is an 18-year-old rapper, singer and producer from Connecticut. Lopez started to gain popularity after “movinglikeazombie” by his alter ego, Dante Red, blew up on Soundcloud before it was deleted from the platform. The song would eventually be added to Spotify, where it has over 100,000 plays.

COA by Ericdoa

COA album cover by ericdoa
Edit by Zoe Axelrod

Following January’s Public Target, ericdoa has released his third album, COA (Coming of Age). With a fairly short runtime of only 23 minutes, the album can easily be listened to in a single sitting. Lopez worked with a handful of different producers throughout the record, including youngkimj, Glasear, Delto and FortuneSwan, giving the album a wide variety of sounds.

The album’s title hints at a possible theme for the album: coming of age. Lopez explores his emotions and personal challenges that have arisen from his fame. Through songs like “likewise,” “loose ties” and “plea,” Lopez expresses his feelings that may come with a teen’s first love, while in songs like “2008” and “do or die,” he boasts about his money and how he’s spending it. Lopez opens the album with “2008,” a song where he talks about his past love interest and how he’s been struggling to get over her after she moved on. The song has a frantic beat with an airy synth line that makes the track light and playful even though the lyrics talk about his struggles.

Lopez follows with “likewise,” a song that had been previously teased not only on his Instagram live but also through a snippet on Twitter that showed what could be a possible music video for the song. The song is one of the best in the album, featuring a catchy chorus as well as a beat that incorporates the best elements of the hyperpop production style: distorted 808s, unique melodies, and vocal chops.

Next up is “Ivy,” one of the poppiest tracks on the album. It comes with drums and 808s that can be disorienting and heavy at times, something very resemblant of fellow artist p4rkr’s earlier works. The song’s lyrics are somewhat shallow but catchy nonetheless. The chorus is repeated several times throughout, making it probably the catchiest song in the album. The next track, “self sabotage,” starts with a melodic guitar riff followed by Lopez’s best vocal performance on the album. At times, his vocals are rough, but his career is in its early days so there’s still a lot of room for improvement. “deep end” and “mistake” are excellent examples to display Eric’s rap skills — quick-paced verses and clever rhymes are boasted throughout the runtimes.

In “do or die,” we have the first feature of the record, if you could call it that — this track is performed by the aforementioned dante red, Lopez’s alter ego. The track, which was previously teased on Lopez’s TikTok account back in September, has the distinct bitcrushed and distorted vocals which are dante red’s trademark. The synths and sounds used are toy-like and bouncy, making the song have a childish vibe to it that juxtaposes itself against the lyrics that mention drugs and guns.

“loose ties” has the first proper feature of the album. GRANDMA not only produces the song but also contributes with vocals. The chorus on this track is also extremely catchy, making the track another personal favorite. “loose ties” is followed by “thingsudo2me,” which has another feature by brakence. Featuring a guitar riff that resembles beats by Lil Peep and Yunggoth, this song has an emo vibe to it from the production to the vocal performance.

“thanks4thewarning” is one of the more emotional tracks in the album. From the vocal delivery to the lyrics, we can understand Eric’s issues with trusting a loved one. The production in this track is somewhat rough, but besides that, it’s well structured. The last song of the album, “plea” is very different from the rest, with very soft drums, an acoustic guitar that plays the chords for the track and a very prevalent bass line, giving the song a more rustic feel. The ambient sounds in the track take the listener to the countryside where frog croaks and cricket chirps can be heard. Choir vocals can also be heard in the background.

Lopez’s future seems very bright from his second album. His year has been very fortunate: he has amassed almost 150,000 monthly listeners on Spotify as well as been featured several times in Spotify’s hyperpop playlist. He is currently one of the biggest names in the ever-expanding hyperpop scene. If Lopez keeps at this pace, we can expect a new record in 2021. Until then, stream COA by ericdoa!

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