When California-based Best Coast burst onto the scene in 2010 with their debut album Crazy for You, the group brought their own fluffy, light version of lo-fidelity to a scene that was decidedly lacking in garage and surf rock. Released today on Mexican Summer, the band’s sophomore disc, The Only Place not only builds upon their formula, but also perfects it. Why fix what’s not broken right?
The atmosphere created by vocalist Bethany Consentino and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno is both feel-good and feel-bad, like seeing your favorite band two seconds after you’ve been dumped. Almost every song, even a few of the “ballads,” have a fuzzy, danceable beat; and while the same basic elements appear in every song, the vocals, harmonies and melodies are so rich one barely even notices.
Title-track, “The Only Place,” pays homage to the awesomeness of California, making the cover art of a cartoon bear hugging the state of California even more fitting. The ability to create an album so specific to a location is a rare talent. Listening to tracks like “Dreaming My Life Away,” one can’t help but fantasize about spending those lazy summer days barefoot at a beachfront bar when you listen to this album.
Favorite track(s) of the album? “Better Girl,” and “Do You Love Me Like You Used To.” Consentino’s haunting vocals and poignant songwriting will have you yearning for home.
The Only Place can be streamed in its entirety at NPR.org and they will be hitting the Fox Theatre May 26th with Jeff the Brotherhood. The intimate setting of the Fox is sure to suit their music well.