Best Coast’s best yet
Yes, she’s still singing about California. But Bethany Cosentino, half of the duo Best Coast, also gets candid about insomnia, jealousy and other unexpected subjects on the band’s third album, “California Nights.”
When you write your lyrics as literally as Bethany Cosentino does, looking back at old songs is like flipping through an old diary. “Our first album, ‘Crazy For You,’ was very much a 22-year-old lovesick girl, and the next album, ‘The Only Place’ was when I was 24 and that was sort of like, ‘What the hell is going on?’ The new album is still kind of like, ‘What the hell is going on?’ but I also have a better grasp,” the now-28-year-old tells us, calling from her native California.
One of the staples of Best Coast — besides a happy, psychedelic soundscape — is Cosentino’s commitment to singing blatantly about what she’s feeling, be it trouble moving on (“Fine Without You”), insomnia (“Sleep Won’t Ever Come”) or intensely missing someone (“Fading Fast”).
“I’ve been trying to manage being in a touring band while also having relationships,” she explains. “Not even just romantic ones, but also friendships and relationships with my family. You feel disconnected from the world that you were once a part of [when touring].”
But even if you’re not touring in an alt-rock band, playing big festivals like SXSW and Coachella, Cosentino promises you’ll still relate. “One of my favorite artists is Drake and the reason why I like him so much is because even though he’s a super-famous, rich rapper, he talks about experiences and feelings in his life that [anyone] can relate to,” she says. “That’s something that will always be a part of Best Coast. I want people to be able to relate.”
Musically, this album is more '90s-focused than their past albums, and Cosentino says she and Bobb Bruno, the other half of the duo, were inspired by a wide range of musical influences, many that fans wouldn’t expect. “Bobb was really influenced by the Gwen Stefani song ‘Cool’ and by Jane’s Addiction. I was really inspired by Hole and Oasis," she says.
The result is an album that Cosentino, Bruno and critics say is the band’s best yet. "For the first time, we felt like we could go out of the box and not just be closed off to certain influences,” Cosentino says. Now, the duo is looking forward to touring all summer long, another part of their job Cosentino says they've gotten even better at. "When fans see us on this tour, they'll think we've evolved a lot. We're all a lot more confident on stage, so I look forward to fans experiencing that."
If you go:
June 12, 12 a.m.
Paradise Rock Club
967 Commonwealth Ave., 617-562-8800
New York City
June 13, 5 p.m.
Brooklyn Live at the Inlet
50 Kent Ave., Brooklyn
June 14, 12 a.m.
1026 Spring Garden St., 215-232-2100
Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence