Best Coast In-depth Biography
Bethany Cosentino was no stranger to the stage when she began working on recordings with bandmate Bobb Bruno under the name Best Coast in 2009. A former child actress, Cosentino had started writing songs in her teens, and had garnered a strong online following by the time she was 17 thanks to a handful of squeaky-clean pop tunes she made available on her MySpace page under the nom de teen pop Bethany Sharayah. "I had interest from major labels," she said in a 2009 interview with PopSense. "And it was kind of overwhelming and I realized that I wasn't ready to be a ‘pop princess.'" In the years that followed, Cosentino put in time as a member of the spacy experimental pop group Pocahaunted and went to school in New York. She moved back to Los Angeles in 2009, at which point she started working with Bruno on Best Coast's first demos.
Drawing inspiration from '60s surf rock and girl groups, Best Coast's noisy lo-fi sound gave a nod to contemporaneous acts like Hot Lava, the Vivian Girls, and Brilliant Colors. Best Coast's first year saw a flurry of little releases: a self-titled 7" single on Art Fag; a cassette tape release, Where the Boys Are, on the U.K. label Blackest Rainbow; a split 7", Up All Night, on Atelier Ciseaux; an EP, Make You Mine, on Group Tightener; and a self-titled 7" on Black Iris. Best Coast had become something of a sensation by the time 2009 came to a close; the band enjoyed a bit of attention from the media (notably from Nylon magazine), and Make You Mine made its way onto a few year-end lists. The band embarked on its first U.S. tour early the following year, sharing the stage with the Vivian Girls. Their profile continued to rise in 2010 with the release of "When I'm with You," which was accompanied by an adorably cute video. The duo signed to Mexican Summer Records and began work on a debut album. Meanwhile, Cosentino made a summer single for Converse (a collaboration with Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij and rapper Kid Cudi) and Best Coast added a full-time drummer, ex-Vivian Girl Ali Koehler. The group's album Crazy for You, which featured Cosentino's cat, Snacks, on the cover, was released in July. ~ Margaret Reges, Rovi