Prior to our first go ’round at Toronto’s North By Northeast in 2010, we were able to secure an interview with Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast. How that happened for a minor music blog is no small miracle, but I remember Cosentino being likable during our time on the phone with her. (We don’t ask hard hitting questions either.)
The reason I’m relaying this story is this: was it obvious all along that Cosentino + Co. just weren’t that interesting? Because after hearing “The Only Place,” the title track from their new album which is out on May 15th, I’m wondering if we all just glossed over it the first time around. I know there was something good there, because “Boyfriend” is still a great song, as is “Sun Was High (So Was I).” But even then, I suppose I would have to admit that they are lyrically lacking. It’s just that, on “The Only Place,” it seems as if we’ve all been treated to a fourth grader writing songs for her family. Also gone is the lo-fi haze of the band’s previous work, replaced with a sunnier disposition and brighter guitars.
“The Only Place” reveals Cosentino’s love of California, although that fact has already been made clear by combining a) her band’s name with b) the visual clue of California on the cover of her first album. If you listen to the song too much, you just might get the feeling that you’re a sucker for living anywhere else. I can see this being a real crowd pleaser for shows outside of Cosentino’s home state.
Granted, lots of people write songs about where they’re from; New York City and Chicago are constantly repped in song. That said, if you listen to “Empire State of Mind” and then listen to “The Only Place,” which would you ultimately choose?
The Only Place, the album, will be out on May 15th via Mexican Summer, if you’re still looking forward to hearing it.
Best Coast // The Only Place [mp3] from the forthcoming The Only Place