We’re early in 2020. Like, first month of the year early. It’s probably too soon to declare what the album of the year will be. I’m not afraid to do it, though. There will be some great releases coming up in 2020. Waxahatchee has a new album coming out, and the first song she’s released is super good. It seems like Lala Lala, my top-played artist of 2019 according to Spotify, has something new brewing. Everybody is playing for second place, though. Beach Bunny is going to have the top album of 2020. I’m calling it now.
Granted, this is a bold statement. The album, Honeymoon, isn’t out until Valentine’s Day. It’s also the quartet’s debut album, so I only have EPs and singles to go off of. I don’t care. I’ve heard what I’ve heard, and I’ve loved any second of it.
Admittedly, they are right in my sweet spot musically. If you start describing a band by saying, “They’re an indie pop band with a female lead singer” I’m probably already looking them up online. I have my sonic wavelength, as we all do. Not every band of that vein is good, though, and not every good band is in that vein. Beach Bunny, though, is so perfectly up my alley I can already tell I am going to have my socks knocked off.
Despite being from Chicago, the band definitely has a sound that justifies the name “Beach Bunny.” There is a bright, sunny edge to their music. It’s infectiously potent, bringing the earworm quality of so many pop songs to the rough-hewn world of indie rock. They sound great, not like a band that doesn’t have a full-length album out yet. Lili Trifilio is an excellent vocalist and, if she is the songwriter, an excellent lyricist.
Beach Bunny is one of those bands where the lyrics are distinctive and clear enough that you can understand them fully right from the get go. It’s not one of those experiences where it is three or four listens before you fully wrap your head around the lyrics. The lyrics are almost deceptively simple, but in a way that speaks to grand emotional experiences that are fairly universal. “Cloud 9” is about being in love with somebody who makes you feel good. “Ms. California” is about being in love with somebody who makes you feel bad.
I have yet to hear a Beach Bunny song that I didn’t think was really good. I’m excited to hear what Honeymoon has to offer us. If my prediction is correct, I am going to be putting it on top of my top albums of the year list and it won’t be moving for 10 months.