Being love sick and on the wrong end of a relationship has never sounded so fun, and well… so beautifully simple, as it does on Crazy for You, the debut LP (funny because it feels like they’ve been around forever), from California band Best Coast. Best Coast is the noise pop project of Bethany Cosentino. The duo caught my attention last summer with the fantastic “The Sun Was High (So Was I)”, I loved the druggy take on 60s girl-groups and punk influences. However, I’m sorry to admit I pretty much dismissed Best Coast as another trend-hopping lo-fi beach band. I figured they’d cashed in on the movement with a hit song, and then I assumed they’d slowly be washed away by the very same waves they were riding. Then this spring I heard the lighter, but equally great “When I’m With You” (bonus track here), and began to get really excited for Crazy for You.
Best Coast can certainly be classified in the lo-fi/noise pop/60s beach sound that has been gorillavsbearing its way to massive underground and critical success. The thing that makes Best Coast stand out from the rest of these bands is that they draw on the best aspects of the movement and turn to the classics to confidently reinforce their sound. Lyrically they combine punk-slacker moping with 60s girl-pop melancholy. Aesthetically, they are very lo-fi, but on Crazy for You, they add some My Bloody Valentine-esque undertones (listen to “Honey” for example) that really add some subtle density to the texture of these not as simple as you’d think songs.
Newest online release, “Boyfriend” starts the album off perfectly, setting the mood for jangly vignettes of love, loss and longing (and obviously drugs, the beach, and sitting around). Cosentino sings with heartfelt confidence throughout the album, and though Best Coast hardly resembles Sleigh Bells, there are similarities to the way her voice and Alexis Krauss’ ring out with beauty amidst the guitar fuzz. Best Coast also succeeds because they don’t try to be anything they aren’t. Sure they are young and budding with potential, but right now they are fully comfortable with the lo-fi (I’ve already said that too much this review, but hey…) summer aesthetic. Songs titles like “Summer Mood” and “Happy” and “When the Sun Don’t Shine” only reinforce that point. With no disrespect to the band, no two songs stand too far apart from eachother, but with that being said, it makes for repeated entertaining listens, with a new song revealing itself as a favorite after each listen (currently its the title track).
So yes, the coast is the place to be these days in indie music, but Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino, along with boyfriend Nathan Williams of Wavves, have proven themselves queens and kings of the beach. Look for Crazy for You on July 27 via Mexican Summer.