“THE ONLY PLACE” COMES OUT MAY 15
Story by Adam Steel
Photo by David Black
When Bethany Cosentino first emerged as a lovelorn pot-enthusiast who sang catchy songs about boyfriends, beaches and – again, weed, a collective audience of hip boys and girls sought to join in on the non-stop summer party known as Best Coast. With short, to-the-point pop songs (all but one of the thirteen tracks on their debut LP Crazy For You clock in at less than three minutes) composed of simple lyrics often brimming with nauseatingly cheerful enthusiasm (even though you get the feeling that Cosentino is singing through grit teeth) on tracks like “Happy” and “When the Sun Goes Down”, the west coast twosome solidified their sound and established a hearty following.
Influences abound in Cosentino’s world: The Beach Boys, Lesley Gore, Phil Spector… icons of the jilted lover’s club. (One of the best songs BC has ever recorded is a cover of Gore’s That’s The Way Boys Are). This is why the end of the duo’s turbulent teen era seems so significant.
The Only Place marks a dramatic sea change, with eleven skillfully written tracks set to a richer and cleaner sound thanks in part to Jon Brion’s production (Fiona Apple, Kanye West, Rufus Wainwright, Aimee Mann) and Cosentino’s vocals soaring high above the usual distorting reverb. One familiar trait remains and that is the topic of love: this time, however, the good vibrations are directed not at some tattooed beach-bum, but at the band’s home state of California, as one would assume by the gnarly album cover, derived from a century-old sheet music illustration.
In keeping with the record’s exuberant style, May also sees the release of Cosentino’s collaboration with Urban Outfitters. Following in the footsteps of Kim Gordon and Harmony Korine, Cosentino joined forces with the uber-retailers, this time releasing a Spring collection of thrift-store-inspired finds for the company’s Urban Renewal label. “Bethany Coesntino for Urban Renewal” will be in select U.S. stores and online.
The Only Place will be released, on Mexican Summer, May 15, 2012.
Tour dates have been set. Canadian spots are as follow:
5/23 Vancouver, BC @ Commodore
7/20 Montreal, QC @ Le National
7/21 Toronto, ON @ Phoenix