“Learning How to Swim is another one of those irresistibly teenage pop punk albums complete with hair metal name drops, nostalgic quips about house shows, and, of course, romantic lyrics to the girl you’re interested in down the street. Everything rests on a bed of elegantly crunchy guitar and bouncy drums at a gently walkable rhythm. My personal favorite is “VHS Dating,” primarily for the sheer amount of times Billy Idol is mentioned (three times!!!). It’s almost like a softer, less nasal “Teenage Dirtbag,” and I appreciate that heavily. Ringing in at second and third are “Neighbor Baby” and “Lake MI (Dream).” The former is heavy on the punk coming-of-age ethos, Wade Phillips softly telling stories about playing house shows too loud for the neighbors; “Lake MI (Dream)” being the quietest and most somber track, is soothing in the most nonchalant way.”
— Erin Cribs, 90.5 WUOG
“The end of the spring semester feels like perfect timing for a track that's both wistful and breezy. If you only look at the lyrics, the song could be read as a snide jab at outdated fashions; the melody diffuses any first impressions and paints an earnest profile of a glam music fan. At one point the song asks "So what's the problem if the form is outdated?" which made me wonder how we'll be viewing Tinder a few years from now. Over the course of the Seattle band's EP, I find myself back at my college radio station. With "VHS Dating," I'm dropped off in the 80s; when it comes to summoning nostalgia, Coach Phillips really hits the nail on the (tape) head.”
— Nick Brunner, Capital Public Radio
“RIYL: Rat Boys, The Obsessives, Weezer, Cloud Nothings, Car Seat Headrest. Rating: 9/10”
“Learning How to Swim is an EP that brings together indie rock and garage pop, which is a beautiful combo that is accentuated by Jessica Kim’s dream-pop style voice and Baughman’s savvy saxophone playing. Featured on the top ten playlist for the week of March 23rd for our music department is “VHS Dating,” which is a guitar driven with cute love song sentiments. As a fellow music fanatic, I highly suggest that you check out Learning How to Swim. It’s an EP that will make you reminisce on previous connections, or lack thereof. Wade Phillips’ soft, sad boy voice is one that leaves you craving more. That being said, I’m hoping that there is more to come from Coach Phillips in the future.”
— Kaili McDonald, WLOY Loyola Radio
“Now this is one low-slung piece of jangle pop, all languid performances with a subtlety which means the low tempo never gets old. It builds ever so cleverly so that by the finish you don’t realise you’ve become immersed in the arrangements. Reminds me of Wheat, that most fabled of 90’s act that offered similar quiet classics that just gnawed at you until you handed over your heart on a silver platter. Wade Phillips drives matters but this Seattle combo are all about the sum of the parts. Dreamy.”
— KEVIN HUGGER, mp3hugger.com
With the increasing popularity of garage pop there seems to be a plethora of upcoming bands trying to produce new music for this genre. In light of other well established garage pop bands such as, High Sunn and Dead Katz, it takes a seriously good track to catch people’s attentions and Neighbour baby, Coach Phillips’ most recent single does not disappoint.
The track is taken from the bands EP entitled Learning How to Swim which also includes a number of other great guitar pop tracks such as a personal favourite of mine VHS dating. Neighbour Babyopens with an upbeat guitar rift that is consistent throughout and its overall sound reminded me of the Jacuzzi Boys. This track is a sprightly foot tapper and the lyricism is so catchy, before you know it you’ll have this song stuck in your head. The Seattle boys have really made their mark with this track, it is a fantastically uplifting tune that has an infectious sound oozing positivity. I would highly recommend listening to this song to brighten up those glum days.
—Georgia Jackson, xunemag.com