Best Coast – California Nights

Now and then, we just need to get away. Not escape, but remind ourselves that it’s okay to just be happy for a minute. Summer is here and until the last week or so I had not found what I wanted listen to this season. Two American summers ago it was the Thermals and Telekinesis, and last year of course the entirety of summer was bathed in the brilliance of Lazaretto (with some Benjamin Booker and Ty Segall thrown in for good measure).

Really, this year’s been pretty dry for me musically. I haven’t actually loved any albums this year other than Father John Misty. I’m excited about My Morning Jacket and some other singles that have come out, but no albums have really grabbed me. (I also haven’t devoted a ton of time to keeping up with the latest and greatest, but still).

So, thanks be to the creative spirits of Best Coast for saving my sanity the summer of 2015. So much has happened relating to civil rights and social upheaval that listening music just for its own sake feels at once illegitimately selfish and at the same time, exactly what I need to get my mind off of the heaviness of, well, everything. Listening to Best Coast doesn’t allow me to escape from reality, really, it’s just that I can take a break for a minute, breathe a little, and remind myself that there are positive, upbeat waves of energy flowing too. That there are still good people keepin’ on doin’ their thing.

Best Coast is not political, and for once, I like that. The Cheap Trick and Joan Jett influences are definitely big and in general they’ve got a gauzy, electric garage-rock sound that just boosts the endorphins. They also remind me of the Lunachicks and to a lesser extent Josie and the Pussycats, which is fun. It’s definitely drive-home-from-the-show-at-midnight-with-the-windows-down music.

Basically the track list alternates between teeny-bop infatuation tunes, and mild breakup songs. Ah, if life were only as complicated as it was in high school! Also, if music could change everything for the better, it would come in the form of the flourish that drops at 1:17 on “California Nights.” Listen to it now, and enjoy letting all the negativity roll off, even if just for a moment.


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