Solarized: Best Coast’s New Single “California Nights”

The West Coast is the best coast, has been for years.
By    February 27, 2015


Dean Van Nguyen is icing Madonna and bought her a pet llama. She says, “whatup doe”

With “California Nights,” Best Coast step in the arena. A sharp turn away from the band’s fuzzed-up surf rock-meets-Patsy Cline sound (see “Boyfriend” and work your way forward), here’s a fully panoramic number–a coming of age joint you’re probably going to hear in many a teen dramedy, scoring shots of kids sticking their heads out of moving car windows and other acts of wild parental defiance.

Over the opening 75 seconds, Bobb Bruno’s dramatically slashed guitar chords and Bethny Cosentino’s huge, anthemic vocals yank the group from their charming 4:3 (aspect ratio) right into the widescreen, before the punishingly thumped drums and elastic baseline drop to douse the whole thing in sharp psychedelic vibes.

All of Tame Impala’s hazy influences are touching points here, and the propulsive rhythm section reminds me of the crazy/brilliant solo output from Stone Roses’ frontman Ian Brown. But while “California Nights” ratchets up Best Coast’s sound, it doesn’t lose an ounce of their charisma.

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