Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Brett Allen and Nick Luca
The session you're about to hear has some history to it. It's been hanging around the office for about a year and a half. Its genesis came on Halloween weekend in 2009, when Daytrotter made its only extracurricular trip to Los Angeles, California. We were brought out to the Hollywood Hills for a few days with the sole purpose of taping a session with living legend Kris Kristofferson and we figured that, while we were out there, why not rent out Elliott Smith's old studio in Van Nuys and make a weekend of it. We got out to the city on a night that featured a nasty wind storm that made landing in an airplane scary as hell and left huge branches and fronds of palm trees cross-hatching the side streets behind the studio and video store the following morning. Now, this would be conjecture on our part, but looking back at the timeline that Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno have followed over the last year and some change, it can be supposed that nothing too much had happened yet for the two founding members of this sunshine-y garage rock band. So much has changed since that Halloween - the fame, fortune, ubiquity with cats and pot -- and yet these six songs, recorded even before the band started to take off like one could ever have predicted, are incredible to listen to now, after all this time - all this time that really isn't that much, but it does feel like some kind of eternity.
All of the songs here appear on various short-run EPs that Best Coast has put out over the last year-plus and none appear on the group's hit record, "Crazy For You." They do, however, carry the same DNA as most anything on the full-length, showing Cosentino to be a snappy songwriter with an affinity for boiling down her days into the three-quarters of which she spends supine on the couch or in bed, pining for boys, smoking weed or generally taking it easy and the other one-quarter that she spends writing about it all, making it sound easy, delightful and quite engrossing. There is such a slacker taste to it all that it's hard to believe that there's anything to it, but some toss-off lines of sedated interest and horrible triteness, but Cosentino somehow makes these songs feel and sound like powerful dramas, like the timeless and classic problems that effect everyone who's ever been young and disgruntled - not to mention lazy, but feeling like they might want to show some effort and hunt down some of this love that they can't get off their minds.
It's hard to think that Cosentino wasn't the embodiment of her material - of dreaming of boys or one certain boy, of feeling like a mess when they weren't together, of believing in the pristine qualities of summertime and the healing powers of the ocean and the sand - when she first began writing these songs. She's so fetching in her unrequited ways. These relationships - real, imagined and hopeful - are the ones that get remembered irrationally as being so heavy, when they may have been the silliest bouts of hormones. Best Coast music sells these tales as much more formative and important. The babies, who are the boys here, are worth sticking around with, worth spending all of those waking moments with. None of this is worthless or pointless, but rather quite the contrary. Cosentino is writing the sticky love and alone songs of a new generation of lost boys and girls who are all only pretending to be so aloof and disinterested.