Best Coast’s hallmark is dreamy California pop; guitarist and vocalist Bethany Cosentino has a high, affecting voice that slices through heavy guitar. However, she and bandmate Bobb Bruno have taken a bit of a turn since their last album, “California Nights.” Their newest project is actually a kids’ album titled “Best Kids,” out now.
“There was a period of a good week where I was driving around in my car listening to kids’ music, and I would pull up at a red light with the windows down, and I was like, ‘I wonder if people are confused by why this grown woman is driving with no kids in the car listening to Elmo singing the ABCs,’” Cosentino laughs. “It’s like, listen, I’m doing research.”
For her, crafting a kids’ album was a creative reprieve that allowed her to engage with a different style: Plus, she admires kids’ outlook.
“One thing that I really love about children is how imaginative they are and how they can just jump to a fictional place and all of a sudden they’re just like: ‘Well, I’m happy now,’” Cosentino says.
Although the music is made for kids and there are a handful of covers on the album, she had a few messages in mind: Namely, universal love and the power of imagination. The hope, too, was that parents might enjoy the music as much as their kids did.
“I wanted to make something for kids that was just sort of different than your go-to ‘Wheels on the Bus,’ to sort of take some of those classic original kids’ songs and give them a rock kind of twist,” Cosentino says. “There’s a lot of joy and fun that goes into writing music for kids.”
She’s definitely in tune with the childlike side of her imagination, and that’s only been reinforced by her very special pre-release listeners—her friends’ kids, who contributed their thoughts on song topics. “People have been sending me videos of their kids listening to it or singing along,” she says. “That grabs me by every inch of my heart and just makes me feel so happy.”
The opportunity to make the kids’ album came from Amazon, with whom Best Coast previously recorded children’s songs. Cosentino wants to emphasize how much she and Bruno enjoyed making the album, and that—although there’s definitely a Best Coast adult album on the horizon—they hope to make more music for kids in the future.
“The world needs things that make them smile currently, given everything that’s going on every day,” Cosentino says. “It’s a good time to put something positive out into the world.”
For more information on “Best Kids,” visit bestcoast.net!
Music Programs We Love
apple seeds, songsforseeds.com
Applause New York, applauseny.com
Carnegie Hall Kids, carnegiehall.org
Church Street School for Music and Art, churchstreetschool.org
Come Join the BAND!, comejointheband.com
Diller-Quaile School of Music, diller-quaile.org
Eastside Westside Music Together, eswsmusictogether.com
Gymboree Music, gymboreeclasses.com
Gymtime Rhythm & Glues, gymtime.net
Hands On!, handson.org
JCC Manhattan, jccmanhattan.org
Kids’ MusicRound, kidsmusicround.com
Lavender Blues, lavenderbluesmusic.com
Little Maestros, littlemaestros.com
Lucy Moses School at Kaufman Music Center, kaufmanmusiccenter.org/lms
Music for Aardvarks, musicforaardvarks.com
Music Together in the City, musictogethernyc.com
NY Kids Club, nykidsclub.com
Riverside Music Studios, riversidemusicstudios.com
School for Strings, schoolforstrings.org
TADA! Youth Theater, tadatheater.com
Third Street Music School Settlement, thirdstreetmusicschool.org
TLB Music, tlbmusic.com
Turtle Bay Music School, tbms.org
WeBop at Jazz at Lincoln Center, academy.jazz.org/webop