Maturity looks like a breeze

Maturity looks like a breeze

It's still sunny pop, but duo's albums show more sophistication


Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno make up the Los Angeles indie rock group Best Coast
Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno make up the Los Angeles indie rock group Best Coast
It is no surprise that American rock duo Best Coast is infamous for their surf-rock style. Vocalist Bethany Cosentino and guitarist Bobb Bruno began making music in the sunshine city of Los Angeles, after all.

But not everyone agrees with the tag, least of all Cosentino.

"People always say we are surf-rock, but I always just feel like we are a pop band," says the 26-year-old, who will play a gig at youth outreach centre Hang Out in Sai Wan Ho on October 30. The band has been active on the underground scene since 2009, releasing their debut album, Crazy for You, in 2010.

"We'll be playing material from both albums [Crazy for You and second record The Only Place], and new material from the EP," Cosentino revealed to Young Post.

In several previous interviews, the group has said their inspiration came largely from pop music throughout the '50s and the '60s, with The Beatles and The Beach Boys being influences.

They've also mentioned American eccentric rock band Weezer and Blink 182 - the punk rock boy band whose name hardly escapes the ears of any true music fan - as being influences.

Critics describe their music as lo-fi, meaning that it teems with whimsical flaws that come together just fine - the opposite of the crisp precision of hi-fi.

Cosentino says she and Bruno have grown a lot, musically, over the past years. This is demonstrated by a wider variety of songs, marking the band's progress to maturity.

Such changes can be observed in the band's second album, which was released last year.

"The record is a lot different than the first record in that it is a little bit more slow-paced, and it's a lot more 'produced'-sounding," says Cosentino.

The album - produced by songwriter and musician Jon Brion, who has worked with many big-name British artists including Keane and Dido - not only boasts sophisticated recordings, but also a strong impression of country music, further reinforcing the band's soothing, by-the-beach rock.

But Fade Away, their latest seven-track EP which dropped last week, seems to show the band's determination to remain versatile. Fade Away has been described as Best Coast's confident return to the garage rock they produced in their early days.

The vocalist, though, contends there is a subtle difference from their style when they started; their simple songs are no longer just simple, but carefully calculated.

"I think we've stuck to the formula that works best for us [keeping it simple]," said Cosentino. "But we've changed it up a little bit without totally overdoing it."

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