Just in time to make peoples’ beach playlists for Reading Week, is California surf-rock band Best Coast. Their sound is in line with more reverb-drenched sound of modern surf-rock than the early surf sound I mentioned in my recent profiles. Singer and guitarist Bethany Cosentino provides the perfect voice for the reverb-heavy guitar work of Bobb Bruno. The two mix their sound with either ecstatic songs or melancholy drones. They also seem to have an obsession with cats as their album cover and videos will show.
Their debut album Crazy For You is probably one of the best beach day albums ever made. It’s very rare that I ever associate music with a very specific location like a beach but this album just takes me there every time I hear it. The album starts buried in the reverb of “Boyfriend,” a song that aches of longing and has some amazing harmonies that add to the heavy feel of the reverb. The album hits a high point with “Crazy For You,” a fast and giddy song simply about love, the oos really showcase how well Cosentino’s voice works with the reverb. “The End” adds more distortion and makes the guitars feel more encasing while the clean guitar provides a cool refresher, “Goodbye” feels more like a part two to the song with cooler syncopation and just a more blooming sound overall.
“Summer Mood” provides a cool song to relax to and its “Some/thing a/bout the summer” line is strangely addictive. The album has one of its sadder moments with “Our Deal” which has a crooning feel of 60s pop and despite its sad feel, feels like the perfect song for its sound. “When The Sun Don’t Shine” throws some gain back into the mix and the droning oos prove they are actually a delightful instrument of their own. “Bratty B” while sounding like a lot of the songs on the album has one of the most catchy choruses lyric-wise on the album and seems brutally honest.
“Happy” is a lyrically and vocally frantic song and despite not really being able to understand much besides the word “happy” its energy drives it. “Each And Every Day” keeps the happy spirit up with it’s fast and upbeat sound, while Cosentino’s singing has a loose and unpredictable rhythm to it that keeps it interesting, it also has it’s “Good Vibrations” moment in its last minute that’s a delightful nod to their surf-rock forefathers. The album ends appropriately on its last standout, “When I’m With You.” The droning of Cosentino’s voice grabs you from the first “The woooooorld” and it’s ambivalent mix of happy and sad sounds and lyrics make it a joy to listen to.
Tomorrow I’ll talk about a few of their new songs.