Band of the Day

2012.07.09

Best Coast

Sun-soaked indie pop created as an homage to the Golden State
The world is lazy, but you and me we're just crazy. So when I'm with you, I have fun, yeah when I'm with you, I have fun.
lyrics from When I'm With You

Best Coast is a surf influenced pop band from Los Angeles, California. The group formed in 2009 and consists of Bethany Cosentino on vocals and guitar (she also writes the songs) and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno. Cosentino's songs make heavy use of reverb, warm vintage guitar tones and her broken heart love songs are described as being an homage to the style of 1960s girl groups. After releasing a number of 7'' singles in 2009, Best Coast released their debut LP Crazy For You on Mexican Summer Records in 2010. The art for the album feature's Cosentino's cat Snacks on the cover. Crazy For You fared extremely well with critics, and it launched the group to world tours and major network television appearances. The pair followed this up with their sophomore album, The Only Place, released on Mexican Summer Records on May 15th, 2012. Best Coast is currently touring in support of the album.

Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast has emerged as one of indie rock’s favorite bandleaders. Part of it may be that she has a cat named Snacks that appears on her album covers and has his own Twitter (@snacksthecat), or maybe the fact that she’s dating indie bad boy Nathan Williams of Wavves. But really, it’s because Cosentino has written some of the best songs of the last few years. All of the tracks on Best Coast's debut album, Crazy For You, have got the tight sun-soaked pop sensibility that helped Best Coast (and Snacks) become indies stars in the first place. Proud residents of Los Angeles, the name comes from Cosentino's desire to have a name that shows off her love for her home state. This California homage isn’t irrelevant, Crazy For You sounds like it was created to soundtrack summer and trips to the beach. “Boyfriend” chugs along like a scorching July day with its twangy surf rock guitar and grungy power chords. Cosentino’s laments “I wish he was my boyfriend/I’d love him to the very end” alongside breezy backing vocals that sound like a comatose Beach Boys. “Crazy For You” is a head bobbing two minutes of punky 60s pop. Cosentino sounds down on herself, as she does throughout the album, “I’m always crazy when I miss you/I’m always lazy when I miss you/maybe I’m just crazy.” But even her self-doubt and angst is kind of carefree and summery, as if Cosentino knows if things go bad she’ll just smoke a joint, eat some tacos and watch the sunset over the Hollywood Hills with her favorite tunes cranked. “When I’m With You” is the perfect incarnation of Best Coast's fuzzy, bittersweet summer sound. It begins with just Cosentino’s voice and guitar, slow and lonesome, until the band kicks in and injects the track with energy. Cosentino is at once so confident and vulnerable when she sings “when I’m with you I have fun/I hate sleeping alone” that it’s impossible not empathize. Best Coast's latest album, 2012's The Only Place, is an extension of Crazy For You's homage to their roots. Only this time, the message comes in even clearer without the fuzzed-out vocal distortion effects that the band had relied on for their earlier releases. The album's title track is a glorious ode to California, with Cosentino asking, “why would you live anywhere else?” Perhaps not since 2Pac's “California Love” has a song been so deeply indebted to the Golden State. And, indeed, if music like Best Coast's is a direct result of being inspired by California, we're happy to keep our feet firmly planted in the sandy shores.