Best Coast: “The Only Place”
Just shy of three years ago Best Coast singer Bethany Cosentino had this to say about her future in an interview with the website Pop Sense: “I really don’t have any idea of what I want my career to be. I’m only twenty-two.” Little did she know that in fairly short order Best Coast would become indie darlings.
Cosentino formed the band with partner and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno, but she had already flirted with mainstream success in her teenage years. Cosentino posted teen-pop tunes she penned on a Myspace page under the name Bethany Sharayah. Big labels smelled money to be made and tried to court Cosentino and her teeny-bopper alter-ego, but being the next Brittany or Christina didn’t quite sit well with her, so she fled into the warm embrace of psychedelic noise-pop band Pocahaunted.
In 2009 she left Pocahaunted to form, what would become, Best Coast with Bruno. The band made a name with sunny, surf-y melodies awash in noise, like a strange combination of The Beach Boys (Cosentino is a proud Southern California native) and The Velvet Underground. Festival appearances and some notable fans (one-Drew Barrymore-actually directed a video for them) earned them a spot in the indie rock pecking order.
On May 15 Best Coast will release their third full-length record. The title-track “The Only Place” leads the record, and it’s our song of the day. The song boasts higher-fidelity than we’re usually used to from Best Coast (but there’s still some of that trademark buzz), and a bouncy, if vaguely folky, melody that recalls the late 80s-early 90s golden age of noise-pop. “The Only Place” is a very pointed ode to her beloved home state. “Why would you live anywhere else? We’ve got the ocean, we’ve got the babes, we’ve got the waves. This is the only place for me. Leave your coat behind, we’re gonna make it to the beach on time” she sings. Those words coming out of any other singer might sound a bit too saccharine, but Cosentino delivers them with the innocent earnestness of youth. It’s hard not to just go with it and bounce along with her.