Best Coast is back: It’s been five years since the Los Angeles-based rock duo of singer Bethany Cosentino and instrumentalist Bobb Bruno put out a proper album—and it’s been pretty lonely without them.
The band’s 2010 debut, Crazy for You, exploded onto the music scene, with tracks like “When I’m With You” and “Boyfriend” becoming indie gems. Headlining tours; opening gigs for acts such as Paramore, Green Day and the Pixies; and the release of two more albums only heightened their popularity, yet we hadn’t heard anything new from the band since 2015 (not counting a 2018 kids’ album). Until now.
Best Coast recently released two new singles for upcoming record Always Tomorrow, due Feb. 21. “For the First Time” is a soft-rock tune with sparkling indie guitar and a great synth line, while “Everything Has Changed” is a heavier track—yet the singing makes it more of a happy, uplifting song. Both singles feature lyrical content regarding life getting better, and will put any listener in a great mood.
You can catch Best Coast on Feb. 27—right after the release of that new album—at The Alibi Palm Springs.
“I think for me, music always sort of serves as a therapeutic act,” Cosentino said during a recent phone interview. “I always write about my experiences and my life, and I try to keep things open in hopes that they are relatable to other people. A lot of the stuff that I talk about on this record is stuff that I’ve been going through for the past 10 years. It definitely helped and was very cathartic to get a lot of it off my chest.”
Cosentino’s lyrics are one of the best parts of the Best Coast listening experience. Take the emotional verses on “No One Like You”: “If I sleep on the floor / will it make you love me more? / If I pack up my things and leave / can I still be the queen to your king?”
“I’m always just trying to create something that people can connect to,” Cosentino said. “I feel like the music that resonates with me the most is the stuff that’s relatable—(music) that I can trace back to my own life and own experiences. I try to be a help to people with the music that I make, and I hope that people can relate to it.”
Best Coast’s Palm Springs show is the first date on the duo’s first headlining tour in five years.
“Touring is very fun, especially when you have new stuff to get out there and share with the world,” she said. “There’s a big shift in energy when you have new music and when you get to come back after some rest. Given that we haven’t done a headlining tour in five years, we are very restless. We’re definitely excited to get back out there and share some new stuff—and old stuff, too. We are stoked to revisit the live vibe.”
The band’s name, obviously, references the West Coast. The band has more than a few songs about a love for California; the 2015 record is even titled California Nights. It turns out Palm Springs is a favorite place for the group.
“I think the only time we ever played Palm Springs was when our last record came out,” Cosentino said. “We did this big event for Tumblr at the Ace Hotel, and it was really cool.
“I love Palm Springs; it’s one of my favorite places to go. It’s an easy, chill, little getaway from L.A. I’m stoked to be playing a proper show there—and we’re bringing this band called Lunch Lady. One of my best friends in the world plays in the band, so it’s cool to get to bring them and expose them to a bigger audience.”
With the addition of new songs into Best Coast’s repertoire, I was curious how the duo’s setlists will be organized for the tour.
“We’re trying to figure out the best way to keep some of the classics and add in a bunch of the new songs,” Cosentino said. “We’re really excited about this new record, so it’s hard to pick which ones belong in the set and which ones feel like they won’t translate as well to a stage. We’re in the early stages of trying to figure out the exact set list. We’re not going to abandon the stuff we put up before, but it’s pretty tricky trying to figure out how to integrate it all when you have a new record out that you’re so excited to play songs from.”
While each record by the band features a similar vibe, the influences differ from album to album. The two new singles feature a more classic-rock vibe—a departure from previous Best Coast material.
“A band that has always sort of been with us and influenced us is Fleetwood Mac,” Cosentino said. “I know it’s not maybe the most obvious influence, but Bobb and I both love Fleetwood Mac so much; we both grew up listening to them from our parents. They’re a band that we’ve always kind of tried to go to and see what kind of risks they took and what sort of changes they made. I think Fleetwood Mac is one of those bands (with which) every record they ever put out was always different than the last.
“With this record specifically, we really tried to do something different without abandoning who we are as a core. It’s definitely a bit of growth, and a bit of a departure sonically and musically. We took some risks, and we tried some stuff; this record has a lot of classic rock ’n’ roll influences, which is something we’ve never tried too much of. A lot of bands that came out in the studio that we referenced were Thin Lizzy, Def Leppard, Fleetwood Mac and The Cars. We tried really hard to do our own version of ’70s and ’80s rock. It was cool to work with Bobb and sort of blend our two loves together. There’s a lot of heaviness in the guitars from Bobb—and a lot of poppy softer rock stuff from me.”
The end of the 2010s saw Best Coast end up on a few “Best of the Decade” lists—as well as a few “Most Anticipated Albums of 2020” lists.
“It’s always really cool to be recognized in any capacity,” Cosentino said. “For anybody to ever tell me that something I created impacts them in any way is always really nice to hear and really makes me feel valued. I’ve been doing this for 10 years, and there have been a lot of times when I’ve wondered if anyone cares. I’ve been my own harshest critic for a very long time. It’s very easy to dip into that headspace of, ‘Does anyone even care what I’m doing?’ To see our name appear on lists like that is always really cool. Not even (just) the lists—sometimes it’s cool just to see people tweet something or send me a little message on Instagram. … It makes me feel special to know that people care about what I’m creating.”
Best Coast will perform with Lunch Lady at 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 27, at The Alibi Palm Springs, 369 N. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs. Tickets are $25. For tickets or more information, visit dice.fm.