Album Review // Beach Bunny ‘Honeymoon’
Bringing insecurity and the reality of heartbreak to the centre with their honest lyrics and defined performance, we’re reminded why Beach Bunny are known for their nostalgic power-pop and heartache anthems.
Nostalgia and transparency is the backbone of the indie-rock band, Beach Bunny. They have perfected the combination of pureness in adolescence with the cruelness of early adulthood and the heartbreaks that coincide with it all. Their new album, Honeymoon, is a perfect project to reflect this work. With the exposed vocals and raw jam sessions between each band member, I found myself being brought back to my teenage angst years. A visual memory of me sitting on my bed with noise-cancelling headphones, screaming at the top of my lungs about my highschool heartbreak, but this time at the ripe age of 23.
Beach Bunny, founded by the frontwoman Lili Trifilio, released their debut album Honeymoon on February 14th, just in time for the romance season. The record is a follow-up to the four self-made EPs that have brought them the admiration and popularity that they now hold, such as 2018’s Prom Queen.
Honeymoon is a project that shows Trifilio’s maturation throughout the years of writing, touring, and performing. The project encapsulates the transparency that insecurity and heartbreak manifests. And the hardships of being a young adult with aspirations and romantic tendencies. We all want to be loved and we all want to succeed and Trifilio reminds us of that. Honeymoon might be the band’s first album, but it is merely a continuation of all the projects that have come before it.
The contumacious opening track Promises leads as the unresolved breakup song that we all wrote in our journals once or twice. The lyrics prod at those painful, heartbreaking realisations as she chants, “A part of me still hates you / How could you love someone and leave? / When you’re all alone in your bedroom / Do you ever think of me?”. Introduced by Jon Alvarado’s loud percussion arrangement, these lyrical thoughts bring up the trauma one faces with their first breakup.
Contrastly, Cuffing Season brings up an opposite thought. A contemplative Lili Trifilio goes back and forth between two halves — commitment vs. non-commitment. A crisp guitar riff chimes alongside Trifilio’s defensive vocals while she sings about an anxiety that hits too close to home. “Sometimes I like being on my own / I’m afraid of winding up alone / But that’s not love.” A psychological fight us, young adults, face during this new age of online dating apps and other social media platforms. Am I talking to this person because I like them or am I talking to this person because I’m feeling alone?
Honeymoon isn’t like their infamous and self-released EP, Prom Queen, where each song is a continual jam session filled with booming guitar solos and bouncy vocals. It instead incorporates the progression of a mood change. Promises, Dream Boy, and Ms. California are all flawless pop-infused jams. April and Racetrack surprisingly slow down the tempo and cut the instrumental background. While Rearview is a slow build-up to an ultimate rage fest ending with the repeated lines: “You don’t love me anymore / I still do / I am sorry / I am trying / I hate it when you catch me crying.” Each verse, each hook, each chorus timed perfectly to remain short enough to drive the emotion home with plenty of time to reflect. Beach Bunny’s plethora of short singles and EPs along the years have helped shape this debut album. With the project’s average track length remaining under 3 minutes, they don’t stray far from what got them their hype: a group of short-lived anthems for a young heart.
I am overjoyed to see their extension as individual musicians and writers. The band’s growth is almost palpable between each song. I find myself thinking that without one of these tracks, the album would be left incomplete. Even ending on Cloud 9 seems like a cheesy masterpiece to conclude with. A hopeful yet joyous Trifilio sings along tom-toms and snares drums proclaiming, “When I start to tumble from the sky / You remind me how to fly.” A hopeful ending to such an angsty project. Beach Bunny did what not many bands have confidently done; they grew into their own and brought that into their music. Their songwriting sits comfortably on the line between our childhood traumas and early adulthood anxieties, that consequently decides who we love and how we chose to be loved.
After listening through the album (multiple times in one night), I didn’t feel alone with my feelings anymore. I felt like those emotions were seen by a band that will never know my story but still was able to make me feel like they did.