Album: The Only Place
Label: Mexican Summer
Frontwoman Beth Constantino aptly described “The Only Place” to Pitchfork as “grown-up” and “seriously emo”.
And it’s true, Best Coast have matured from their beach cruising, Slurpee sipping first album to create a sound that is a more sophisticated side of surf. “The Only Place for Me” kicks off the album and yes, she does rhyme ‘waves’ with ‘babes’ but the Surfaris twang has been toned down, the vocal reverb gone, the new sound is refined and certainly grown up.
As for the emo part, it is indeed an album that distinctly sounds like it was written in a girl’s bedroom after a day at the beach and a night out with a boy, but in the case of “The Only Place” it actually comes across as charming rather than cringe inducing… for the most part.
“No One Like You” is a stand out track for me. The title itself sort of spurred me on to thinking that maybe Best Coast is the hipster chick’s equivalent to Adele. They’re songs written for the confused and the broken hearted that are likely even better when sung to loudly after a few glasses of white whine, I mean wine. Best Coast’s signature hooky guitar and riding drums have been cleaned of their distortion and now Constantino’s ballad-like vocals are at the forefront.
I remember seeing Best Coast about this time last year in a crowd packed with tie-dye clad, sunglasses-inside teenagers. A slurring Beth Constantino books it off stage mid-set and returns to triumphantly slur “I JUST THREW UP!”, and that crowd of teens went apeshit. I think that sort of sums up the band pretty well actually. They can’t really do anything wrong in the eyes of their fans and for that reason I’m fairly positive that the new found maturity in “The Only Place” will go over like gangbusters.
It still has echoes of that west coast beach brat, but this time time around it’s being played by an adult.