On May 3rd, frontwoman Bethany Cosentino of Indie-rock duo Best Coast dropped a major bombshell regarding a secret project that had been in the works for months. Like many others, I interpreted the hints to mean a new Best Coast album and tour but was taken by surprise. Cosentino took to social media to announce her debut solo album, Natural Disaster, due July 28th and released her first single, “It’s Fine,” accompanied by a music video. Although many fans of Best Coast and even band mate Bobb Bruno seem to be very excited and supportive, confusion lingers. Many are left to wonder what this means for Best Coast. For now, it seems the band is taking an indefinite hiatus while Cosentino branches out and explores a new path. Cosentino explains, “This band (and Bobb) mean everything to me, always will – but for now – I need to go explore being just…Bethany Cosentino.”
Natural Disaster emerged as the result of the world around it. A global pandemic, patriarchal blows to human rights, natural disasters and constant national tragedy forced Cosentino to redefine her identity and take a step away from Best Coast. The album was produced by singer-songwriter Butch Walker in Nashville, Tennessee, which may explain the country-tinged pop-rock sound on lead single, ”It’s Fine.” The song previews a taste of Cosentino’s new direction; heavily influenced by 90s music, empowerment and her idols Bonnie Raitt and Sheryl Crow. A song about self-discovery and evolution, “It’s Fine” reassures fans that the Bethany we all know and love is still very much there. Invoking vulnerability with confessional style lyrics similar to those found in Best Coast music, she seamlessly bridges the old with the new. Analyzing her struggles of personal growth and resistance to change, Cosentino invites you into her world with unobstructed views. The transparency regarding her past and present self bring an element of realness that balances the music, giving it more depth than your average pop song. Cosentino reflects, “Imagine if I handled this shit the way I used to / Imagine if everyone knew the truth the way I do / I have evolved / You’ve stayed the same.”
My first impression of “It’s Fine” was mixed; I loved the lyrics but I didn’t love the music. As someone who hates country music, I wasn’t sure if the country sound would work for me. After sitting with the song for a few days, it’s grown on me. The song blends sounds of rock, pop and country without any being too overbearing, while Cosentino’s vocals bring a powerful yet soft balance. As someone going through their own evolution and questioning change, I connected with her words and emotions. Lyrics from the hook “It’s fine til it’s not fine,” are so simple yet impactful. It makes you want to jump in your car, drive to the desert and scream just like she does in the music video. I believe the takeaway from “It’s Fine” is to connect with yourself and try to understand who you are, who you have been and who you will become. Cosentino reminds us that there isn’t a straight path to your identity, but a winding road of constant change. To me, the song was beautifully raw and I can’t wait to witness the person Bethany Cosentino becomes with Natural Disaster.
Bethany Cosentino’s new single “It’s Fine” is now streaming everywhere. You can stream the song and check out the new music video below. Natural Disaster is set to be released July 28th, you can pre order your copy as well as new merch now.