Published Jul 25, 2010Some artists have the gift for writing a hit song. Phil Spector, Brian Wilson and the Ramones were all naturals at their peaks, and while it sounds incredibly premature to suggest, Bethany Cosentino has all the signs she's one in the making. While she hasn't written a "hit" by definition, this 23-year-old from L.A. has the Midas touch when it comes to songwriting. A few seven-inches and a cassette of hazy, beach bum pop demonstrated her potential and now her debut full-length as Best Coast proves it wasn't beginner's luck. Backed by her professional better half (Bobb Bruno) and producer Lewis Pesacov, Cosentino entered a proper studio and ditched the muddy production that coated their earlier releases. Crazy For You isn't exactly polished, but in working with a producer, Cosentino's uncomplicated earworms become palatable to any listener. The girl group harmonies and razor-sharp hooks are given the room to shine, and the relatable tales about her love for boys ("When I'm With You"), the sun ("Summer Mood") and her cat Snacks ("Goodbye") are amplified and made even easier to relish. While Best Coast may be lumped in with all the underachieving lo-fi acts out there, Crazy For You plays like a career-spanning singles collection instead of a debut.
What made you go into a proper studio to record the album?
Cosentino: Well, we recorded the record in an actual studio and the singles we did before at Bobb's house. Bobb has the capability to make things sound produced and not as lo-fi or whatever, but that was just a decision I made at the time. I don't think it's that different; it sounds less like a home recording and you can hear my voice better. People who have heard it have said, "It's not lo-fi enough!" But who cares? It just means it sounds better if it's not lo-fi. Get over it!
How did your cat play a role in the album?
There is one lyric on the record that talks about him. And I got Snacks around the same time that we started recording and playing shows. So those are two major things that happened at the same time in my life. He's like my son. When we're not on tour, I'm literally at home in front of the TV with my cat next to me. So, he's a big part of my world. Bobb and I both like cats, so we thought, "Why not put a cat on the cover of the record?" (Mexican Summer)