Best Coast's Fade Away EP: Brought to you by Ambien.
Credit is also due to Bethany Cosentino's new label, Jewel City, as well as Mazzy Star, My Bloody Valentine and Patsy Cline. The hallmarks of all of these things are on the EP, from the freedom that comes with using your own record label, to the haze of Ambien, to the reverb-soaked sounds and pop melodies.
Cosentino and Bobb Bruno hit the sweet spot. Fade Away is chilling out in the sunny spot between the band's debut Crazy for You and the sophomore effort The Only Place. The debut was lo-fi and on the lighter side of angst and the follow-up was polished to the point of losing some character, while it dove into depression. This EP is the correction.
And while the reverb and fuzz get pulled back and forth, Cosentino's voice has made consistent forward progress. She dug her vocals out of the mix for The Only Place and it sounded nice, but there was a subliminal feeling of "just relax, you got this." On Fade Away, she sounds easily confident and more like herself.
The title track sounds like a leftover from The Only Place, with lines like "my brain is gray / from all the things I take" and "sick of you being mean / I didn't do anything," not to mention the lay-in-bed-and-cry vibe. Cosentino's lyrics are as simple as ever, and though that's always provoked some derision, it still works for her. Trying to be more poetic now would ring false.
Especially on the more propulsive tracks, like “Who Have I Become” and “I Wanna Know,” Best Coast sounds refreshed. Here's hoping the upcoming LP sounds like this.