When Best Coast released their debut album Crazy for You in 2010, the band became a sudden commercial success, launching the band into indie-rock stardom. Since then, guitarist and vocalist Bethany Cosentino, and guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno have seen a steady amount of critical acclaim throughout their relatively brief music career. The band’s sophomore effort titled, The Only Place, released in 2012, featured a cleaner sound than previous works, and Fade Away, Best Coast’s new mini-album, is a definitive move back to the group’s debut sound. Fade Away features a style of recording known as low fidelity, or lo-fi, which means that it was recorded in a lower quality, grungier sound typically found in garage bands. This aesthetic was achieved by Best Coast through the use of recording with old cassette players. The reason for a return to this fuzzy style indicates that Cosentino and Bruno are striving to bring back the sound that originally popularized Best Coast three years ago.
Not only is the production similar to 2010’s Crazy for You, but also nearly every other aspect. In all honesty, there aren’t even any tracks on Fade Away that would fit into The Only Place. Consentino’s sweeping, energetic melodies combined with her simple lyrics make a stark, and welcomed return on the new mini-album. The album was released on the record label Jewel City, Cosentino’s new self-governed label, which seems to have an obvious impact on the general feel of Fade Away, making the record seem more like a demo than their third album. In Best Coast’s previous recordings, it was Cosentino who handled all of the songwriting, lyrics, vocals and rhythm, while Bruno performed lead guitar, bass and drums. Fade Away is no different, but this time around it feels as though the band has reverted to a basic formula that they have become comfortable with. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I’d like to see a little more progression from the LA-based duo.
The seven-track mini-album exposes a lot of Cosentino’s inner thoughts and confessions since the band’s 2010 formation. Several of the songs on Fade Away boast an excellent demonstration of how Best Coast can sum up complicated emotions into simple lyrics. Rather than emphasizing her songwriting, this time around it seems as if Cosentino is flexing the progression of her vocal performance. As a whole, Fade Away is a promising insight into what the band may be planning with their next full-length studio album, but so far, it seems as if Cosentino and Bruno are still working out where it will fit into their up-tempo, summer rock style of pop.
To listen to the album in full, check out Best Coast’s Soundcloud at https://soundcloud.com/best-coast-official or listen to our choice of the album’s top tracks below.