Covering beautifully familiar ground...
'California Nights'

Best Coast's home of California has always had a strong, direct influence on their musical output.

It's a place that has a long held reputation for its sun 'n' surf – but there's a hidden darkness to the city which is often ignored. Much like their home, Best Coast's third full length album is one is covered in juxtapositions of dark themes and brightly lit melodies.

Since their inception, the duo have built a reputation for crafting three-minute pop songs that rely heavily on snap-heeled and sun-drenched choruses with instant appeal – and, somewhat pleasingly, this hasn't changed.

Five years on from rough-around-the-edges debut 'Crazy For You' the band's musical trajectory continues to follow along a straight and direct path. Whilst opener 'Feeling Okay' has an '80s sheen to compliment its guitar pop stance, 'Fine Without You' soon sees the band revert to type.

Songs such as 'In My Eyes' and 'Run Through My Head' may offer beefed up production and chunkier riffs but underneath this top layer lies a familiar structure whereby reverb-rich guitars help form a steady and comfortable bed for Cosentino's honeyed vocals.

With 'California Nights', Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno have crafted an album of understated material that stays true to the band's initial indie pop roots. Far from a departure, it's more the continuation of a recurring theme - but one that isn't half bad at all.

7/10

Words: Nathan Westley

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