A few summers ago I went to California for vacation. It wasn’t the first time however it was the first time I was there conscious of its cultural and geographic significance. On the fourth day there I visited the Santa Monica pier; feeling the cool salty air, ice cold water, warm sun and sandy beaches on my skin was a great experience and just like in the movies, I closed my eyes and basked in my surroundings. Thinking back the only thing that lacked was the ideal, quintessential music to accompany it. I had heard the Beach Boys and Young The Giant on the way there, but to me it wouldn’t cut it.
Fast forward ten months. I am in the midst of a huge project for world history and my mindset, emotionally, was not the best due to stress, grades and countless all-nighters to be completely honest. I then turned to Spotify and found a band under “Related Artists” from Vampire Weekend’s profile. I had found a true gem, I had found Best Coast. Immediately after clicking play I was instantly transported to the moment on the beach and I was happy again.
Best Coast’s style was so reminiscent of the Beach Boys, sunny California and “hakuna matata” days that I felt happy and joyful again. I dubbed it a “summer vibe” and it kept me going until summer. The band incorporates lo-fi, surf pop, and indie rock influences and with polished production the whole experience feels all too familiar but enjoyable for the most part. Their sophomore LP, while good, wasn’t at all different from their debut, Crazy For You, in terms of style and lyricism. The lo-fi riffs, playful drumming and lyricism of love were still present not really showing any progression. On the Fade Away EP, the band finally moves forward.
The opening track, “This Lonely Morning”, just barrages you with distorted feedback, and the band go back to their original style with composition and rhythm but now with a distortion pedal, adding some nice subversivness that clouds up the clean, lo-fi atmosphere. With a band whose sound is going stagnant, it’s a fresh and enjoyable alteration. The catchy hooks are still here too, which we all missed. Right? “I Wanna Know” is playful as ever, with a buoyant rhythm and attitude. “Baby goodbye” she sings in the happiest, joyful voice ever accompanied by the distortion, a welcome attribute. This distorted lo-fi style is carried on through the triumphant tracks in this case the album pinnacle ,“Who Have I Become”, where it becomes evident they’ve become something not entirely different but something better.
FAV TRACKS: This Lonely Morning, I Wanna Know, Who Have I Become?, I Don’t Know How
LEAST FAV TRACK: Fade Away
Written by Jon Birondo over at http://prettyneatgrooves.weebly.com/
Jon Birondo is a Junior high school student in Dallas, Texas. He runs and writes for Pretty Neat Grooves, a music blog he co-founded with his friend, Michael White. Aside from music he loves watching movies and television shows, playing drums and hanging out with friends. Keep It Neat!