If sunshine and the general aura of summer could make a noise, it would sound like the tunes of the Californian surf pop band, Best Coast. Made up of Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno, the band is currently on tour and will be making a stop at Royale Boston this Thursday, June 6. In the meantime, let’s take a look at how this fun duo has changed its sound over the years.
Other than a plethora of 7"S and splits, Best Coast has released one EP and two full albums. Where the Boys Are, an EP released in 2009, features five fuzzy jams more along the lines of lo-fi garage rock. A personal favorite is “Angsty.” Its simple that stay true to its name such as “It’s overwhelming how much I hate everything but you.”
In fact, Best Coast has stayed true to its beginnings in one way in their use of lyrics so simple it’s funny. The simplicity contributes to the band’s image as a summery, chill, surf-pop act. However, with the release of its first full length album, Crazy for You, in 2010,their sound has definitely matured. The songs have progressed from lo-fi to surf pop, with less fuzziness overall and more distinct vocals. A theme of juvenility is displayed lyrically, through the collection of songs about young, hopeless love, and the various weed references. This can be seen in two of the singles off the album, “Boyfriend” and “Our Deal.” In a word, Crazy for You is catchy.
In 2012, Best Coast faced further change in both sound and lyrics with their second full length album, The Only Place. It’s much smoother and more professional, which gives it more of a pop/rock quality than the beachy vibes of Crazy for You. On top of that, the album features seemingly personal lyrics that express Cosentino’s struggles growing up. For many of Best Coast’s fans who fell for Crazy for You’s fun, youthful feel, the second LP was quite a disappointment. The album, however different, is still quite good. “No One Like You” and “Up All Night” both bare some resemblance to Crazy for You thematically, but are quite different in sound. It exemplifies the gradual growth of the band. “Up All Night” was originally on a 2010 split with Jeans Wilder and was polished up quite nicely for The Only Place. Listen to both versions to decide whether you like Best Coast’s lo-fi sound better than their newer, smooth pop. And don’t forget to check them out at the Royale on the 6th — if you’re in town.
“No One Like You”
“Up All Night” (2012)
“Up All Night” (2010)