Song of the Day: Best Coast – I Wanna Know

photo by Victoria Holt

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today‚Äôs song, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “I Wanna Know” by Best Coast from the 2013 mini-album Fade Away self-released on Jewel City.

Best Coast – I Wanna Know (MP3)

As her Best Coast project with Bobb Bruno grows in popularity, Bethany Cosentino is becoming quite the songwriter. The California state surf pop ambassadors’ sun-centric indie rock sound started from the simplistic three chord brilliance of “When I’m With You”, showcasing laid back reverb and divine harmonies. Their sound matured with 2012’s wonderfully melancholy The Only Place LP, where Cosentino polished the edges and dialed into her songwriting craft. But with this year’s mini-album Fade Away, Best Coast are quieting the naysayers with a dynamic and beautiful collection of songs that bring out the best of the band. Here, Cosentino has exited her role as the girl next door and elevated to levels of existential surf rock muse. Fade Away is without a doubt the band’s best work yet, and it’s exciting to think about where Cosentino and Bruno will go next.

For today’s Song of the Day, we give you the cream of the Fade Away crop. “I Wanna Know” is textbook Best Coast – there’s an instantaneously infectious melody, a driving surf rock vibe, and a healthy dose of heartbreak. But if you look closer, Best Coast are starting to pull some tricks that lazier, less experienced indie pop stars wouldn’t even consider. The warm, dense Best Coast guitar sound is here, but its makeup is on point like never before. From the disconcerting harmony tones of the chorus to that final, spine-tingling tremolo line giving Cosentino’s vocals the perfect, devastating wave to ride out of town, Best Coast bring the pain on this track. The lyrics are fantastic too. Cosentino debates the pros and cons of ending a relationship for good, while begging for some sense of objectivity in the matter. Like all great Best Coast songs, it’s a place we’ve all been before, but here, Bethany captures the feeling like she never has before, making “I Wanna Know” simultaneously one of the catchiest Best Coast tunes and one of the most emotional.

Best Coast will be opening for the Pixies at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle on February 18 of next year. You can find out other shows and more about the band on their website and Facebook page. For now, watch a live in-studio rendition of the today’s featured song below, recorded during the band’s session at KEXP in August of this year:

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