“California nights make me feel so happy I could die” croons Bethany Cosentino, halfway through their third album of the same name, a record that reads like a love letter to Best Coast’s native state and is just a sun kissed as California itself. It opens with the usual themes of loss and nostalgia that made previous albums Crazy For You and The Only Place so engaging (‘Feeling OK’ and ‘Fine Without You’ have the same frenzied, forlorn attitude as ‘Boyfriend’ and ‘Goodbye’) but as Californian Nights progresses we see the band have matured both vocally and musically.
Tracks ‘Sleep Won’t Ever Come’ and ‘Wasted Time’ hint at a darker subject matter than their previous lyrics of romantic confusion and adolescent boredom. The title track is the stand out moment and sees the band at their trippest, using their fuzzy guitars to engulf Bethany’s voice. The love this duo has for their home is clear and although there are some glimpses of a changing band, California Nights is ultimately the perfect summer album, something Best Coast do perfectly.
The mood of California Nights has been summed up by Bethany in a recent statement – “in LA, or maybe just personally to me, when the sun sets – I feel like there is a large sense of calmness in the air, and I feel like everything that happened to me prior in the day, whether crappy experiences or good ones, at night, it all goes away and I sink deep into this different kind of world”.
Luckily for us, Best Coast have bottled that feeling and invited us into this world.