Best Coast - Fade Away (4 stars)

Best Coast - Fade Away

Snappy 7-song collection of effortless crunching hooks and moreish choruses

(Jewel City)

Best Coast’s breezy, sun-kissed indie-rock created such a kerfuffle when it emerged into the world three years ago it’s hard to forget it was just that – almost throwaway songs about love, weed and cats presented with an endearing nonchalance and lo-fi charm. Frontwoman Bethany Cosentino was suddenly a Pitchfork pin-up and fast-tracked to that crazy crossover ‘mainstream indie’ world that usually involves designing a range of T-shirts for Urban Outfitters, doing an awkward duet with a rapper, having a famous actor direct one of your videos, getting routinely filleted on acidic blog Hipster Runoff and being papped playing Jenga with Johnny Depp in Greggs at 4am. All of these things happened to Best Coast (bar one) and their profile – or Cosentino’s at least, bandmate Bobb Bruno is spared usually – almost swamping their blithely appealing songcraft.

To their credit, the duo don’t seem to have been overly bothered by that early media foofaraw and this mini-LP released on Cosentino’s own Jewel City label, at least shows they have the ability to still write songs with crunching hooks and moreish choruses. It’s conceived in anticipation of heading into the studio to record a ‘full album proper’ for next year, but this snappy 7-song collection is a bit of a curio in that, considering Best Coast’s previous two albums just about break the half-hour mark, this is not much shorter. Anyway, timekeeping aside, if this is an indication of what the future holds then Best Coast are not about to tinker with their formula of blissed-out earworms.

Okay these may not be meaty morsels that you will savour for an especially long period – but the great thing about musical instant gratification is that endorphin rush of cheerily singing along after hearing a song for the first time, and openers ‘This Lonely Morning’ and ‘I Wanna Know’ have that gift. The more languid ‘Fear of my Identity’ has more poise while title track ‘Fade Away’ has a heavier MBV-ish leitmotif. It’s not revolutionary but Best Coast’s dutiful adherence to simple catchy tunes has an easygoing, infectious appeal.

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