Beach Bunny - Honeymoon
Feb 14, 2020
86
Garage pop-punk outfit puts together a fantastic collection of smile-along confections that are more intelligent and interesting than expected.

Beach Bunny as a unit have a terrific sense of how to put together a song. It’s simple, poppy garage punk, but it’s done about as well as it can be. Everyone has a keen sense of tempo, crescendo, timing, and hooks, and of how to put them together in the catchiest way possible. Lili Trifilio’s voice has the timbre, honesty, and endearing relatability of much of the current crop of indie-folk singers (Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, Soccer Mommy, et al), but also the rawness and energy of the best of the Hop Along version of Frances Quinlan and Charly Bliss’ Eva Hendricks.

Her songwriting elevates the material. On the surface, it’s conventional – silly love and heartbreak and longing songs – but there are moments of vulnerable authenticity that make the pedestrian sentiments interesting. “Cloud 9” is just about the giddiness of a new relationship, but it opens with Trifilio’s confession “I don’t want to seem the way I do,” which casts a dark but genuine edge on what follows. In “Ms. California,” the line “When you’re gone she sleeps in your shirts” sounds like early Taylor Swift, but Trifilio slips a quick “it hurts” in between beats that sears in its simplicity. That kind of subtlety and nuance abound in her songwriting. (Incidentally, she was asked to hold a songwriting seminar at her alma mater, De Paul).

Throughout Honeymoon, the peeks that Trifilio provides into her own insecurities have the effect of making the upbeat sentiments seem that much more genuine. The only complaint is that it clocks in at twenty-five minutes. When the songs are this irresistibly catchy and buoyant and fun, it takes a lot longer than that to wear out their welcome.
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