Beach Bunny is an awesome, if not peculiar name for a band from Chicago. As a resident myself in flyover country’s most prominent city, there are a lot of great beaches on the city’s lakefront that rival anything I’ve been to on either coast. This might seem kind of a weird way to talk about a band’s debut record, but Honeymoon is a record that rivals any rock record put out this year, coast to coast.
Beach Bunny is the project of Lili Trifilio. She enlisted Hop Along guitarist Joe Reinhart to produce Honeymoon, a collection of breezy, propulsive songs that don’t sound unlike what could be found on a record by his band. “Promises” starts with single note picking and Trifilio’s voice, up front, immediately grabbing your attention. As the song hits the chorus, the band kicks in, and the song comes into bloom. This continues with the nervous shuffle of “Cuffing Season” before slowing down a bit for “April,” a beautiful ballad about a lost love: “Since April and now it's October/I'm not overthinkin'/But I think about you a lot/And maybe I am just an afterthought”. It’s one of the album’s most tender moments, and probably one of the most universal.
Everything on this record is so consistent, so endlessly replayable, that’s it’s not even a stretch to think that a second Beach Bunny record would be more kaleidoscopic in sound. “Ms. California” sounds tailor made for a tv-show or movie about its titular state, all sunny guitars and huge pop hooks. The same goes for “Colorblind,” a song that seems to stretch itself with only a few notes at a time before bursting into colorful choruses.
The story of Honeymoon, really, is that it’s the first swing and hit out of the park from a budding songwriter. Trifilio’s talent is never more evident than on “Racetrack,” a staggering song that sounds like it is being played on a Fender Rhodes piano. It’s truly unlike anything else on the album, both assured and tender, hinting that the future of this band may be more outside guitar rock than you’d think. For their sakes and talent, and for our listening pleasure, here’s hoping.
- Brendan Hilliard, Obviate Media
This review was written by Brendan Hilliard, of Obviate Media. Obviate Media is a Chicago-based blog covering music and pop culture. Check them out, here: Obviate Media.