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Bethany Cosentino Assembles Her Perfect Summer Playlist

Bethany Cosentino, with her laid back attitude and DIY sense of cool, perfectly encapsulates the California beach lifestyle. Along with bandmate and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno, the duo known as Best Coast are back with their fourth, most mature album to date in California Nights. Hints of melancholy and shoegaze come to the fore on lead single “California Nights,” creating the perfect soundtrack for wishing on a falling star, with visions of alligator lizards in your head. This moody atmosphere combines with New Wave throughout the record, creating a sound that inspires mournful moments, yet conjures warm feelings of dream pop. With Bruno beating the hell out of the skins and Bethany’s punk-inspired hooks, the new LP transcends their previous catalog to appeal to both older rockers as well as indie-obsessed millennials.

For an album inspired by The Go-Gos’ rhythms and surf rock, Bethany has a confession. “I’ve surfed one time, in Hawaii,” Bethany recalls. “I’m actually terrified of the ocean. Hilarious, I know. I named my band Best Coast and yet I hate going in the ocean. I do enjoy hiking though, and just kind of walking around my neighborhood, or sitting outside somewhere and having a refreshing cocktail or meal with a friend.”

As far as summer outfits go, Bethany is a less-is-more girl. “My approach to fashion is to wear as few clothes as possible, while still wearing clothes. I’m noticing that the weird boho, mid-2000’s Coachella look is, for some reason, back in style. I’m personally not feeling that style at all – I’m more into the classy gym look these days.”

As for the Gap shoot, Bethany says she’s still a Gap Girl. “I like that Gap stuff is basic and pretty simple, but that their stuff can be paired with virtually anything to give it an edgier kind of look. I enjoyed doing that for this photoshoot, taking something like a basic black button-up top and pairing it with a short leather mini skirt. it’s good to have a bunch of staple basic items in your closet, and Gap does those very well.”

In addition to the shoot, we asked if she’d be kind enough to curate her favorite summer playlist, and just like California Nights, it shows a wide range of musical knowledge.

  1. “The Separation” – Ceremony: “My cousin Anthony plays guitar in this band, so I’ve been following them for a while now- but I’m really stoked on this new album and their new sound. This song is like the perfect blend of Interpol, New Order and Husker Du- I absolutely love it.”
  2. “Digsy’s Dinner”- Oasis: “Oasis has always been one of my favorite bands, but over the last several months I have had a crazy Oasis obsession resurgence. I just saw Noel Gallagher play this song at Shaky Knees Fest in Atlanta over the weekend and I was standing there stupidly smiling by myself drinking a beer…it was just an epic moment that I’ll always remember.”
  3. “Numb”- Portishead: “I was just listening to this song the other day on a flight and thinking to myself that I really would love to be in a trip hop band. I just think Beth Gibbons is one of the coolest front women ever-  she is incredible and makes it look so effortless. It’s super inspiring to me.”
  4. “Ripped II” – Spirit Club: “This is Nathan from Wavves, his band with his brother Joel and their friend Andrew. I got to hear a lot of the songs on this record when they were making it. Nathan has been in my life since I was 19, I’m stoked for him and all the cool stuff he’s doing. This song reminds me of My Bloody Valentine meets The Everly Brothers – good stuff.”
  1. “Boys On The Radio” – Hole: “Celebrity Skin was a huge inspiration for me when we were making California Nights and when I was writing the record. This album was practically the only thing I listened to when it came out. I listened to this song 10 times in a row yesterday driving from New Jersey to Philly- the chorus is so epic and catchy.”
  1. “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” – Tame Impala: “I am SUPER late to the game with this band, but I just saw them live for the first time in Atlanta and I’m obsessed now. Their live show is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Bummed I didn’t get into them sooner but stoked I finally checked them out, and that my first experience with them was seeing their show live.”
  1. “Cherry Waves”- Deftones: “Was listening to this record a ton in LA before we left for tour, driving to and from our rehearsals… this song was my #1 jam in the car. I love how Deftones are so heavy, but they are also equally as beautiful.”
  1. “Shades Of Cool” – Lana Del Rey: “I still can’t get over how amazing this record is. It was all I listened to when it first came out, but I just can’t get enough. Been listening to this song a lot on my phone when we are traveling.”
  1. “Gotta Have It” – JAY Z, Kanye West: “I haven’t listened to Watch The Throne in so long, but we had a big drive the other day and I put it on… and forgot how sick this album is. I love this song SO much- the sample/beat is so good, and I’m obsessed with the lyric: “Sorry I’m in pajamas but I just got off the PJ”
  1. “Connection” – Elastica: “I bought this record on cassette from a Goodwill store when I was 16, because I only had a tape player in my first car. I had never heard of them but the album cover was cool. It quickly became one of my favorite records and I listened to it so much that the tape just stopped working. This song was an inspiration for a couple of the songs off of California Nights.”

To see more looks from Bethany of Best Coast, visit Gap