Indie-Rock Review: Best Coast - Always Tomorrow

Release Date: February 21, 2020
Label:  Concord Records
Following a five-year hiatus after their critically acclaimed 2015 release California Nights, the low-fi beach-goth California duo have returned with Always Tomorrow. A less ambitious, yet more cutting and intimate collection, Best Coast deliver their trademark plainspoken lyrics and 60’s flower power-pop musicianship to pleasing effect.  

Bethany Consentino’s vocals emit a Suzanna Hoffs soulful and sunburnt vibe while guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno’s guitar work cleverly sets the scene, never outshining the vocals or breaking the shared bond.  

When the focus is on a simple groove and soulful melody, the sonic experience really escalates. Tracks like “Roller Coaster,” “Everything Has Changed,” and “True” exemplify this focus. “Master Of My Own Mind” is a standout track reminiscent of 2015’s hit “Feeling OK.” The lyrics are positive and inspiring, evoking the struggle and ultimate overcoming of one’s own demons and low self-esteem. It also includes some very clever tempo changes which, when combined with the different pop textures of the song, make it a compelling listen.  

There are also moments when Always Tomorrow seems a bit too ambitious. When you put too many different fruits in a smoothie, you end up unable to identify which individual fruits are in it. It ends up being a fruit smoothie. Songs such as “Graceless Kids,” “Different Light,” and “Make it Last” suffer from one too many ingredients. When Best Coast use fewer ingredients, the end result is the tastiest of treats.  

As a whole, Always Tomorrow is a terrific album. The music and lyrics accompany each other like best friends, and the infectious hooks sink deeper into your consciousness after every listen. This reviewer especially enjoys and respects bands who take a revisionist approach to modern music. At their best, Best Coast taps into the surf and pop sensibilities of the ’60s and ‘70’s and inject a female perspective, which was so rare during that time. What that means for their fans is that we get to realize what it would be like if female artists had more opportunity back in the day. It may have unearthed bands like Best Coast to give fans of the Beach Boys, The Four Seasons, and others a unique and visceral alternative. 

- Tom Endyke | Guitar & Pen

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