Best Coast Rides 'Crazy' Wave of Blog Buzz to Success
She's a breezy California surf rocker, a throwback '90s indie queen and a savvy Twitter star all rolled into one. But Best Coast singer-songwriter Bethany Cosentino is something else too: a certifiable "It" girl.
The California-based Best Coast -- comprising Cosentino and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno -- is riding a wave of blog buzz into the mainstream spotlight, a first for the band and its label, Brooklyn-based indie label Mexican Summer, which picked up the pair's debut, "Crazy for You."
"She's the only artist I can remember that hasn't had the backlash for being a blog band," Mexican Summer director of marketing/label manager Jeffrey Kaye says. "People are championing her and want her to succeed."
"Crazy for You" entered the Billboard 200 last week at No. 36 with 10,000 units sold and also debuted at No. 10 on Digital Albums. Best Coast sold an additional 4,000 units this week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. In addition, Cosentino has been featured in Vogue and Rolling Stone.
Best Coast's mainstream buzz boils down to one thing: its music. Cosentino specializes in sun-baked, simple, short surf-pop ditties, sung in a dry, girly monotone and recorded in a '90s lo-fi style.
Mexican Summer focused on super-servicing mom-and-pop stores, while ensuring a presence at all digital retailers. ("Boyfriend" was an iTunes free Discovery Download.) Within three hours of Cosentino announcing a presage of the album to her 9,000-plus Twitter followers, the Mexican Summer site moved 300 units.
Best Coast's sales breakdown is a bit of a throwback, too. Kaye reports that sales have been running 50% digital, 30% CD and 20% vinyl -- very gratifying for the label, which started as a purely digital/vinyl outlet. Best Coast is its first CD release.
"You would have thought a good chunk of that audience would have downloaded it illegally and been done," Kaye says. "But given the package's artwork and the hand-numbered copies, they wanted to own it."
Best Coast just returned from a European tour and will set off on its U.S. trek Sept. 4.