Not nearly as sunny as last year’s The Only Place or their hugely successful debut Crazy For You, Fade Away is a solid move towards a more varied spectrum of pop.

It’s crazy to think it’s been three whole years since Best Coast’s surf’n’sun-drenched pop had everyone twisting and swaying longingly at summer festivals around the country. Fade Away is a “mini-album” (or a generous seven-track EP) with professed influences ranging from sleeping tablets to Patsy Cline and all the way to ’90s TV reruns.

Best Coast are tweaking their sound with every release, and although at a first glance Fade Away is missing their characteristic surf/’60s blend of cheekiness, they are most certainly moving forward.

‘This Lonely Morning’ lifts the Californian duo off the ground to a pleasantly catchy start and is the track that feels most like it belongs on a TV series of the Freaks And Geeks era. That and the infectious ‘Who Have I Become’.

‘Fade Away’, an album highlight, is reminiscent of Best Coast’s earlier songs with its finger on the pulse of teen angst and confusion. It has a little more lyrical depth and shows that the pair can pull the plug on their lo-fi fuzziness and make a hit just as easily as they can with hidden, distorted vocals.

‘Baby I’m Crying’ has Bethany Cosentino’s vocals front and centre and leaves a nostalgically alt-country aftertaste that is actually more aurally pleasing than it sounds. The yearning to be country goes a bit too far in ‘I Don’t Know How’, where the build-up takes far too long and is ultimately dissatisfying.

3.5/5 stars


Fade Away is out now through Jewel City/Kobalt

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