“I don’t really mind
All of this wasted time
Just wish that I had something to show for it.”
Best Coast are one of those bands that magically take you to a place that you possibly can’t ever afford to go. In my case, I’m far too broke and too much of a coward to go on a plane for longer than 50 minutes. Best Coast take you by the hand and take you to a Californian beach. With their past records they have taken us on some ethereal journeys to the West Coast, their latest and probably best release, California Nights is no exception.
With Best Coast, I always seem to hold some sentimental value to Bethany’s lyrics. Some that in time will eventually leave me be, the rest will probably irk me for a few more years. You adapt and can sometimes forget. Crazy For You had songs on it that were a constant reminder, The Only Place was easier to listen to and Fade Away made it easy to be an adult. Where does that leave California Nights? The escape route, easily.
The record consists of songs about leaving, growing up, being unsure and general growing pains. There are many bands that can write in a vulnerable manner but there is something about the way Bethany does it that makes you feel as if you’re the one she’s writing about. It is exactly as if she’s got in your head and wrote every nagging thought you had down and projected them for the world to hear.
Every band has that one record that defines their career and becomes their defining record.Combined with the growth in Bethany’s lyrics and Bobb’s ability to take you on some lucid trip with his ridiculous guitar skills, these are just some of the factors that make California Nights their defining record. They’ve gone from fast-paced sun-kissed tracks to hazy sunset and anthemic gems for the lost. Their sound has grown into a fully fledged adult still flailing in that awkward stage. Listening to California Nights is like falling in love, finding pieces of yourself and getting to grips with self-acceptance. Thing is, it doesn’t matter if others don’t like you or accept you. If you don’t accept yourself, then it can get difficult. I know. I know. Records like this make it so much easier to feel alright in your skin. Even if you dislike it.
It is fair to say that this record is one of the best this year. It just shows how strong a band Best Coast are. California Nights is the essence of looking into the sunset on your own, as the sun sinks into the sea with a cool yet calming breeze circling around you. It is the sound of the summer that you can feel all year, that’s the backbone of Best Coast and it is much stronger and a lot clearer in this record. The songs on this record can mend and fix a person all at once. The songs on California Nights are what daydreams are made of. Full of hope and courage at best. Songs like Jealousy see the wrong in how people behave, songs like In My Eyes make you think of the wrongs you are trying to correct even if nobody wants to know, songs like When Will I Change are like coming to terms with everything around you. The art of growing up is underlying in this gorgeous record. There is so much to say about this record; it’s the kind you sit down with someone and talk about how bloody brilliant it is. Or you could be a sad case like myself and write about it!
The vulnerability in the songs is what makes this record so damn honest and easy to connect with. I’ve read reviews about this record that say that every song sounds the same, they haven’t grown. The same old shit from those who like to be mean. Maybe it’s because I really do love this band a hell of a lot that I can’t see why anyone would slate it. Maybe I’ve got some sentiment clinging to this record that I daren’t let a bad word be said. Or maybe, just maybe I can hear a band that I’ve been a fan of for so long and who mean a lot to me, have become the band that they deserve to be. The lo-fi sound isn’t as prominent as it once was but the subtle angst peaks through and when you feel it, it’s something to really treasure.
Whether you’re a stroppy teen or an uncomfortable adult, guaranteed there are songs on this record that will make you feel as if it was written for you. Maybe it was because really, nobody likes feeling alone.
I’ll stand by the title track being the most euphoric on the record and is easily one of my favourite songs of the year, but I feel with this record that each song, with every listen they will become a favourite. There are no album fillers and there aren’t any dull moments on this record. It’s a record to take a long walk to, to listen to on your bed at 2am when you can’t sleep, to wander aimlessly up and down the beach to, to get lost and found to. Just let this record become your world, let it be the soundtrack to the summer and beyond. Records like this make you proud to be a fan of a band you quite simply adore.