Published Feb 21, 2020Coming off a five-year hiatus, Bethany Consentino and Bob Bruno, the duo behind Best Coast, return with their fourth album and followup to 2015's California Nights. It would be easy to assume that Always Tomorrow builds on the sound they found on California Nights, but sonically, it seems more closely aligned to their earlier albums, such as 2012's The Only Place and 2010's Crazy for You.
Always Tomorrow benefits from using the tried-and-true guitar-and-drum-heavy arrangements that defined their early albums. "Everything Has Changed" is heavily reminiscent of their first single, "Boyfriend." It pulls you in with lyrics that speak directly to you and then keeps you with a catchy bop of a chorus. The first three songs on the album, "Different Light," the aforementioned "Everything Has Changed" and "For the First Time" carry a lot of the album's weight. However, the later songs hit close to home in their frank discussions of relationships and mental health.
Lead singer Bethany Cosentino has explained that this album's feel comes from a decidedly healthier place, written after getting sober. She moved to "a big pink house" and spent time with and on herself, all of which she hits on with their single, "Everything Has Changed." Continuing in this vein, the twee, Cali-pop bop "For the First Time" is a meditation on what that selfcare looked like for her.
However, taking time to heal and overcome mental health issues is an ongoing process. She touches on this on "Wreckage" when she sings "if I am good now, why do I feel like a failure" and she continues acknowledging that each day is another to overcome when she sings "I'm still the best at getting in my own way." This is echoed again on "Rollercoaster," a song about the ups and downs of getting older.
"True" shifts gears a little and goes into the discomfort and distrust surrounding revealing a new relationship. It touches on it being so delicate and precious at the beginning and the feeling of not wanting to break that illusion with the pressure of exposure. On "Seeing Red" she builds on her reflection on relations saying " I'm so sick and tired of writing love songs about the same unhealthy things."
In the ten years since Crazy for You, Best Coast and their fans have grown up. This album reflects that without losing the fun and catchiness that brought about their fame in the first place. They've elevated their music from songs you listened to at your job in a coffee shop or in your parents basement, to music you want to play in the car or in your grown up apartment. You can find a sense of nostalgia without losing some of the comfort that age has brought you. (Concord)