Not to sound conceited or anything, but Best Coast picked the right side of the country to name their band after. There’s nothing like a hot California summer, and Best Coast’s debut LP Crazy for You harnesses the mood of the sizzling sand and cool blue waves that we love so dearly during these months. Best Coast hails from the steamy beaches of Los Angeles and consists of vocalist Bethany Cosentino, drummer Ali Koehler, and all-purpose musician Bobb Bruno (Cosentino’s cat is also arguably part of the band, according to recent press). All feline fan fare aside, this album couldn’t have come at a better time, and pressing play on the first track from Crazy for You will make you think that summer is just getting started instead of getting steadily closer to its end.
The new album’s first track “Boyfriend” is all you need to hear to get a pretty good grasp of what the album is all about. There are rich vocal harmonies and echoes that are reminiscent of ancient surf pop and dusty Beach Boys vinyl. Its fuzzy, its nostalgic, and its everything that you want in a summer soundtrack. The album cover even looks like a retro postcard that seems to say “Greetings from California! We have gorgeous beaches and an abundance of cats!” I’m not sure if cats have anything to do with Cali, but the imposed image of Cosentino’s kitty on the album just puts a smile on my face. The LP has that effect on the listener at every turn, from the onset of the album to its ultra-hazy finale “When I’m With You.” That closing track actually brings up an interesting aspect of Best Coast, and Cosentino’s maturity (or lack thereof) as a songwriter. The chorus repeats the line “Yeah, when I’m with you I have fun,” and throughout the album Cosentino rhymes the words “Crazy” and “Lazy” multiple times in different songs. Some could criticize Best Coast for a lack of originality throughout the entirety of the album, but I wouldn’t. The lyrics are direct, honest, occasionally immature or mildly cliché, but it all creates the proper effect. When you put on your headphones and play Crazy for You, it is meant to lift you off the ground and send you floating in a haze down to the beach where you can wiggle your toes in the sand and forget about the complications of adult life. It is summertime, after all. If you are looking for a band that will blow you away with intelligent and sophisticated music, these are not your tunes. This is what you listen to when you want to take yourself and everything around you a little less seriously.
Some of the key tracks off Crazy for You include the opener “Boyfriend,” “Goodbye,” “Our Deal,” and “When the Sun Don’t Shine.” I think that these songs really showcase the strengths of Best Coast’s sound and really get you in the mood to step into the sun. “Boyfriend” is your typical tale of boyfriend envy, where Cosentino sings about her desire to make some guy more than just a friend, but sadly he’s taken by someone who’s “prettier and skinnier” and “has a college degree.” Like I said, it gets a little cliché but the sound is simply irresistible. “Our Deal” is a slightly sentimental tune about the melancholy feeling that comes from having the one you care about leave, and not being able to express yourselves because “that’s not our deal.” Best Coast never take themselves too seriously though, and in the same song Cosentino also complains that her man always takes her money and her weed when he goes.
Best Coast is the perfect band to keep you mellow and thinking its still summertime well into the Fall. In addition to the release of Crazy for You, Best Coast has booked a tour across the country that will bring some sunshine to cities all across the country.