Best Coast "California Nights"

Best Coast delivers a perfect summertime rock album

The career arc of the duo Best Coast is an example of musical maturation. In 2010 Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno released Crazy For You on the boutique indie label Mexican Summer. Following internet buzz and a year of touring the pair released The Only Place, a more polished product than its lo-fi predecessor. Continuing on their quest for growth they’ve teamed up with producer Wally Gagel, whose credits include Miley Cyrus, New Order, Rolling Stones, and Rhianna. 

There’s nothing complicated or sophisticated about Bethany Cosentino’s songs or vocals. She and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno merge garage and surf rock with a bit of grunge in order to create radio-friendly melodies and pop with fuzz layered production. You could call their tunes aggressive ear candy. Their musical DNA includes strands of Beach Boys, early R.E.M., and Nirvana with the vocals of an amped-up Belinda Carlile. Cosentino’s lyrics channel twenty-something angst with easy rhymes. The title track begins “I stay high all the time just to get by,” but by mid song she reigns in that sentiment, singing “I never wanna get so high that I can’t come back down to real.” It’s this balance that keeps Best Coast from tipping into adolescent indulgence without getting too serious.  

California Nights is the perfect title for a summertime record and this one certainly qualifies for that category. No one’s here to lay a heavy trip on you, just great jams without a lot of frills.

Rosemary Welsch (Afternoon Mix)