RVA Music Fest – National Artist: Best Coast

Bethany Cosantino and Bob Bruno of Best Coast

Nick Bonadies
Spectrum Editor

Frontwoman and guitarist Bethany Cosantino, along with bandmates Bobb Bruno and Ali Koehler, are responsible for some of last year’s catchiest lo-fi beach-pop tributes to summer love, boys, weed and Cosentino’s now-famous cat, Snacks.

This year, they’ve earned a spot right under Girl Talk on RVA Music Fest posters everywhere.

Cosantino’s vocals, delivered in breezy, laid-back Californian, glide effortlessly over the music with a subtle bombshell sensibility and generous helping of 60’s nostalgia that have endeared Best Coast to a legion of fans internationally.

Detractors commonly deride Cosantino’s abilities as a lyricist, describing them as simplistic or formulaic.  (“Want to hate you but then I kiss you / Want to kill you but then I’d miss you,” Cosantino sings in the title track from the band’s 2010 album “Crazy for You,” whose cover hearkens to vintage souvenir postcards.)

For many fans, however, the same direct simplicity is a source of appeal – or at least, they haven’t noticed it messing with their groove.

“They’re rad,” James Blair Simpson, senior music performance major, said. “They’re like … the Jonas Brothers, but on bikes. They’re like … Justin Bieber, sung by whales.”

With regard to Snacks the cat: It has become increasingly fashionable to point out that, despite the mass attention Cosantino receives for writing songs about cats, she only ever mentions them once in a song – the line, “I wish my cat could talk,” appears in the song “Goodbye” from the 2010 album, “Crazy For You.” (Full verse: “I lost my job / I miss my mom / I wish my cat could talk / Every time you leave this house, everything falls apart.”)

Best Coast, however, seems to enjoy and even perpetuate the angle.  “I Can Haz Cheezburger,” the website from the same minds responsible for unleashing LOLcats on an unsuspecting world, teamed up with the band to create a music video which features Snacks “directing” the band.

Cosantino herself wrote in The Guardian, “Anything that helps Snacks reach the level of Garfield – the number one cat in pop culture – is good with me. He’s basically the benchmark that Snacks aims for.”

Photos courtesy of Wichita Recordings and WMG

This article is a part of The CT’s RVA Music Festival artist profiles

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply