The unrequited crush: We’ve all been there. Pining away like Samantha Baker for Jake Ryan, wishing that a) Jake would notice us and sit on our kitchen counter with us, blowing out all 16 of our birthday candles, and that b) we had the perfect maudlin yet hopeful set of tunes to get us through the torment of it all. If any of that sounds familiar to you, then go ahead and turn off the Thompson Twins and switch on Best Coast to mend your breaking heart.
On July 27, California’s Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno, aka Best Coast—who have been tempering teenage heartache for months with perfectly angst-ridden, lo-fi single after single—will finally release their first full-length album, Crazy for You. With a similar sound to the band’s earlier releases, such “Sun Was High (So Was I),” the new album is replete with romantic, hazy, California-sandy tunes, perfect for when you’re, as Cosentino puts it, “sitting all alone at home/ and waiting waiting waiting waiting waiting by the phone.” And, like each single and EP released up to this point (including the questionably trendy Kid Cudi and Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend mash up), Crazy for You does not disappoint.
Crazy isn’t simply a collection of mindless, boy-crazed sap songs—Cosentino’s creativity and musical knowledge lend a stellar quality to what has the potential to be superficial and repetitive fluff. As demonstrated by the Best Coast blog, Cosentino’s musical influences are ample and varied—the depth of which is reflected by her ability to turn the trite (you can only say “I wish I had a boyfriend” so many ways) into heartrending, universally appealing music. Her wide-ranging inspiration creates subtle, yet hugely different, transitions—evoking everything from 90s Nirvana-esque angst to poppy 60s girl band riffs—that save the music from becoming monotonous and reveal the depth of the band’s well-crafted personality.
With simple but poignant lyrics that could easily have been torn from Molly Ringwald’s diary (“Last night I went out with this guy/he was nice/he was nice and cute/but he wasn’t you”), Cosentino’s perfectly drawling voice gives an uncomplicated and much needed reprieve from whatever ails you. Whether it’s boys or your boring summer job, each three-minute jangle strikes all the right notes. A combination of the Go-Gos, The Beach Boys, and The Primitives, Best Coast supplies 29 minutes of genuine summer-lovin’ bliss that lives up to the expectations created by months of singles, EPs, and cat images (an homage to Cosentino’s feline companion, “Snacks”).
Recommendations: “Boyfriend,” “I Want To,” and “When I’m With You,” but seriously all of them, ideally in a row while biking past his house repeatedly.
-- Emma Forster