Posts in Mexican Summer Records
Bethany Cosentino, Best Coast

Put Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast in a hotel bathroom, and she's one happy songwriter. If you're with her and she's in there for a looong time, don't worry. She's creating. Music.

The traveling ways of the songwriter dictate that they can't be too picky with their environment when it comes to writing. They have to adapt to their surroundings and write whenever they can, wherever they can. But according to Cosentino, environment plays a "huge" role in her songwriting process. When she's at home, she writes in her "music room," which contains nothing but music related stuff, from guitars to CDs to posters. She loves to write there because the room's solitude gives her privacy. "I try on tour to write, but the problem is that I don't want people to hear me when I'm trying to write. I like to be able to make mistakes and sing badly and play really bad chords that don't sound good together. It's a very private process for me that I enjoy doing entirely on my own. A place like that is hard to find on tour."

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Kurt Vile

In his own words, Kurt Vile runs around like a "headless chicken" when he's on tour, so it's hard for him to write.  Given that he needs a clutter-free environment ("Open space and open air in my head," he says) this is hardly surprising.  Vile works best when he's away from all of his comfort zones, which explains why a trip to the countryside can often be a salve for any songwriting rut he might be in. Vile's new EP So Outta Reach comes out November 8.  The EP contains five songs recorded during the sessions for his latest LP Smoke Ring for My Halo.  

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Bethany Cosentino, Best Coast (2010)

Sure, Best Coast is bikini beach lo-fi pop, and Bethany Cosentino says that she doesn't think too much about her lyrics.  But she is a huge fan of David Foster Wallace, arguably one of the most influential and creative writers of the past twenty years, and that gives her instant street cred in the literary world.   

Best Coast is one of the hottest indie bands of the summer, and their album Crazy For You dropped at the end of July.  You can read any one of the endless interviews with Cosentino on the internet, but this may be the only one without a mention of her cat.  I chatted with Cosentino for a few minutes this week about California, creative non-fiction writing, David Foster Wallace, and how the weather affects her creative process.

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