The female characters that populate the songs of Los Angeles-based Bethany Cosentino, A.K.A. Best Coast, are in a perpetual state of heartbreak. Boys just want to be friends. Boys squabble. Boys leave and don’t return.
Her debut full length “Crazy For You”, released July 27th on Mexican Summer, is a window into the soul of an angst-ridden teenager (though Cosentino is 23). But this teenager (at heart) has got soul. The music is sun-drenched California garage rock blended with girl group bravado. The melodies are catchy—the album’s final track “When I’m With You,” perhaps the most optimistic lyrically, transitions from a slow dirge to a poppy sing-a-long (check out the video featuring a Ronald McDonald look-a-like below).
Though these narrators may be heartbroken, Cosentino’s affirmative voice gives them strength and resolve. “All the ’50s and ’60s girl group stuff is about heartache,” she explained in an interview. “It’s just me trying to do a little bit of an homage to the songs of that era.” Or perhaps her heart was broken as a child commercial actor (she’s the fifth in this Little Caesar’s conga line).
No matter her source of inspiration, Cosentino is the latest addition to our list of Los Angeles artists to be watched, which, in case you were curious, includes Ariel Pink, No Age, HEALTH, and Abe Vigoda. Not to mention that she has the best album cover of 2010. (Kevin Drum, I’m looking at you.) She brings her love(lorn) songs on the road this September—tour dates and songs here.