Best Coast: Always Tomorrow (Concord) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, May 28th, 2024  

Always Tomorrow


Mar 02, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

After a five-year break since 2015’s major-label debut California Nights, the duo of Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno are back with Always Tomorrow. While this still by and large sounds like a Best Coast record, there are also major changes. First off, this is the first record that they’ve recorded where Cosentino and Bruno have split the songwriting duties. Secondly, Cosentino is now sober and many of the album’s lyrical themes deal with her newfound sobriety and meditations on being in your early 30s. They also have a new label.

So how does all of this affect the music? Well, the first song released from this last fall was the magnificent “For the First Time,” a song totally unique in their catalog for its light electronic flourishes and overall sound reminiscent heavily of late ‘80s Fleetwood Mac, a long-time influence (see their magnificent cover of “Storms” from 2012). Anyone, however, expecting more of the same and a total sea change in sound from previous records is in for quite a disappointment. Opening with the Bangles-referencing (though Bleached-esque) “Different Light,” this sounds like Best Coast at their rawest since 2013’s Fade Away EP, their last release on indie Mexican Summer. In fact, most of this sounds much rawer and more stripped-down than California Nights did, perhaps a deliberate leaning back of their sound and elimination of excess in line with a more clear view of life?

Elsewhere, descending minor chords power the also magnificent “Graceless Kids,” second single “Everything Has Changed” showcases the influence of ‘90s alterna-rock (Weezer in particular), “Seeing Red” once again uses a Minor Threat song title (like California Nights’ “In My Eyes,” perhaps their finest moment) and the excellent “Used to Be” closes with a definitive statement of purpose and the closest Best Coast have ever come to stoner rock. If the album has any disadvantages, it is that many of the songs sound similar. However, subsequent listens reveal layers previously unheard and the uniqueness of many of the songs comes out. It wouldn’t surprise me if, at the end of the year, this will be a favorite. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 4/10


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