ALBUM REVIEW: chicago natives beach bunny release debut album, "honeymoon"
The debut album from Chicago-based band Beach Bunny is the perfect soundtrack for this Valentine’s Day. “Honeymoon” is an emo-pop onslaught of songs about love and worth, great for fans of artists such as Soccer Mommy, Kississippi, and, dare I say, Paramore. It’s an album that you blast while getting ready in the morning, picturing yourself in your own coming of age movie opening scene. Across the entire record, lead singer Lili Trifilio wears her heart on her sleeve as she sings along to bouncing tunes.
The album opens with “Promises,” a track that features a desperate lament, “when you’re all alone in your bedroom, do you think of me?” layered over energetic guitars and drums. The song is an excellent introduction to the tone of rest of the record - anthemic and vibrant, while also not straying from tugging right at your heart.
The energy continues with “Cuffing Season,” a song with an incredibly open chorus that admits, “I’m afraid of winding up along.” The juxtaposition of lyrics as painfully honest as this next to the pop-punk-esque melodies creates a really cool dynamic present in a lot of the tracks on “Honeymoon.” The songs feel personal and real.
Photo by Brandon Hoeg.
The most anticipated song on the album for me personally was “Rearview.” Trifilio played a toned-down, early version of it to a small crowd of us at DeKalb’s House Cafe last February, an encore for when the band had run out of released music to play, but we weren’t ready for them to leave the stage just yet. The lyrics question a past love, as well as personal self-worth, wondering if we’re ever really “good enough.” On the album version, the band picks up at the end, coming in hard to give us a final, angsty and heartbreaking outro as Trifilio chants, “I’m sorry / I’m trying.”
Following “Rearview,” “Ms. California” brings us back up to the bright, upbeat instrumentation while still keeping the themes of moving on, jealousy, and insecurity. Ms. California is who we wish to be, who we compare ourselves to, who we think has it all. The lyrics feel true to a young woman’s experience navigating the difficult balance between who we are in relation to others and our own self-confidence.
“Colorblind” is probably the best song on the album to dance to. The intro is exciting and fun, coming in strong with guitars and practically forcing you to start bobbing your head along. The first verse is almost funky, until the chorus hits and it’s a full-on emo pop anthem. “Dream Boy” creates a similar feeling. It’s an optimistic call to a crush, a chorus that asks the boy of our dreams to “meet me after midnight.” This is the type of song that plays when the movie is almost over, when our high school protagonist lands the date for prom. It’s a joyfully, unapologetically, mushy romantic song, and one of my personal favorites on the album.
“Cloud 9” closes out the record in a similar tone to the previous track. The chorus seems like a sum of all the emotions felt earlier in the album, as Trifilio sings, “you will always be my favorite form of loving,” to what feels like a glorious, triumphant ending. We’ve grown past the questions of self-worth and confidence felt in the previous songs; we’re unashamedly happy and hopeful.
Beach Bunny can be found on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and their website. They'll be heading out on their almost entirely sold-out tour in just a couple of days. Catch them at Coachella in April and in the US on their Honeymoon Tour on these dates: