Best Coast will begin recording their third full-length album this week, the follow-up to 2012’s The Only Place. The Los Angeles duo is without a record label for the first time, leaving them free to make whatever album emerges while in Butch Walker’s Santa Monica studio. Earlier this fall, the band released a short collection of new songs called Fade Away EP on Bethany Cosentino’s Jewel City label and the band sees that collection as a transitional benchmark for their next album. Although none of the new songs have made their way to Best Coast’s live show, Cosentino says there is a chance some new material could be in the band’s setlist when they open for the Pixies in February. Rolling Stone spoke with Cosentino this week about the direction of her new material, working with Butch Walker and taking inspiration from Drake.
Where are you in the process of making your next album?
We have a bunch of songs written and I’m probably going to continue writing stuff while we’re in the studio. We have enough material written right now to last us a couple of weeks. The actual physical tracking starts [this week].
Is there a vision for this album?
Not really. The way I’ve done it in the past is that I’ll just write 12 songs and we’ll record all the songs and maybe cut one or two. This go around I was more leaning toward trying to write 20 songs to have a big variety bag to choose from, however I didn’t quite get to 20 songs. I don’t necessarily have a full-fledged vision for an album. I just know sounds and what I want things to sound like. And I’ll have inspirations in mind. I’m very spontaneous. I make decisions last minute. That’s just my vibe. So I think once we get in the studio we’ll out more of what’s going on.
What are some of those inspirations you have in mind right now?
I would say that this record, at least right now the way we’ve been demoing and the way I’ve been writing, is a lot more inspired by the Nineties and a lot less inspired by the Sixties. The first record was super Sixties, the second record was really Seventies and this one is going to be really Nineties. I don’t know if that’s because I’m obsessed with the Nineties, but I started listening to a lot of Nineties stuff when we did Fade Away and I was really happy with that EP and those songs. I felt like I wanted to almost do something that was an extension of that, almost like that EP is leading you in to our new record.
And you’re also inspired by Drake?
This is going to sound totally weird, but Drake is a huge inspiration. It’s not going to be a rap record, but in terms of lyrics and emotion. I cannot stop listening to Drake. I am obsessed. It’s ridiculous how obsessed I am. When I listen to his music, what he’s saying is so real and it doesn’t feel sugarcoated or fake at all. I definitely took inspiration from that when writing lyrics. My lyrics have always been straightforward and honest and not sugarcoated but this time around I was like “Okay I’m going to say what I have to say and I’m going to feel like Drake about it. I’ll just say it.”
How did you select Butch Walker as the producer for the album?
Butch and I developed a Twitter friendship. We were friends on Twitter and we tweeted at each other a couple of times. I knew he was fan and I was fan of both his music he makes and his production. We were like “Okay we’re going to do another record. Who do we want to work with?” When you’re in the position we’re in, you get offers from so many crazy people and it’s so surreal that you’re getting asked to work with people of that caliber. Butch knows how to take a song that’s an indie song and make it more pop accessible, and I feel like that’s what I wanted to do with this record. I wanted to make a record that was more pop without transforming into this full-on pop band. We’ve had plenty of conversations about it and I very much feel like Butch is the absolute right person to work with on the record.
Have you previously collaborated with someone because of Twitter?
Weirdly, almost everyone I’ve collaborated with has been because of Twitter. I worked with Rivers Cuomo almost two years ago. We wrote a song for Weezer. I don’t know what’s happening with it. Originally it was supposed to come out on whatever the next Weezer release they do is, so hopefully he’s still planning to put this song on the record because it is a really cool song. We met through Twitter.
What label will your new album be released on?
We’re not sure. The label that we’re on right now is my label. I would love to potentially explore doing the record myself and putting it out on my label Jewel City, but I’m not entirely sure if that’s the way it will work. We have interest from labels and there are people out there who would like to work with us that we will probably consider working with. But we wanted to make a record where we weren’t on a label for once. We’ve done all of our records working with a label and I feel like we need more space to be very creative. There’s no one checking in and no one being like “Okay, what’s the single?” when you haven’t even recorded five songs yet. So I think doing it this way and then figuring out what to do with it this way, at least for me, takes a lot of the pressure off.
Do you have a timetable as to when it’s going to come out?
Right now we’re aiming toward doing it hopefully in the beginning of the year. Not right off the bat, but we’re hoping to get it out as quickly as we can. We really want to do it and then figure out the label situation and get it out as quickly as possible. So I would say probably no later than spring of next year. But if I’m wrong I apologize. If it comes out in five years, I apologize.
Stream Fade Away below: