Bethany Cosentino Is “So Disappointed” With Her Solo Album Launch

Shervin Lainez

Bethany Cosentino Is “So Disappointed” With Her Solo Album Launch

Shervin Lainez

Earlier this year, Best Coast announced an indefinite hiatus, and frontwoman Bethany Cosentino released Natural Disaster, her first solo album. It didn’t go the way that she wanted. Last night, Cosentino posted a TikTok video where she talks about the album’s rollout and says that she’s “so disappointed” with how it’s gone. She doesn’t blame anyone for the record’s muted reception, but she voices some of the concerns and frustrations that are common among many of the people trying to release things in a climate that reduces art to content.

There aren’t too many artists who will talk about suffering widespread indifference in such plain language, at least in public, but it’s real shit. Here’s what Cosentino says:

So I’ve debated having this conversation with you for a really long time. And you know what? I’ve decided I’m having the conversation. Let’s go. So as you may or may not know, I put out my first solo record earlier this year in July. It’s called Natural Disaster. If you follow me, you probably already knew because I’ve just been trying to fucking sell it to you for so many months. I put so much of myself into this record — into the writing of this record, into the recording of this record. I left fucking California for the first time ever to make a record. Like, I walked away from my identity. I walked away from Best Coast, and I said, “I’m gonna go be Bethany. I’m gonna go make this thing.” And I have to be really fucking honest with you. I am so disappointed with the way things have gone.

Now, I’m not gonna blame it on anyone ’cause it’s really nobody’s fault. It just is the state of the music industry. And to you, it might seem like it’s done well because I have a lot of press. There was a lot of press, and that’s because I have a great publicist and also I’m interesting. People like talking to me, and I like talking, so I think it works. I mean, the truth is that I’m so grateful that I even got to make the record, that the record came out, that I got to play a show, that I’ve gotten to play a few shows. But it really sucks to feel like you put all of yourself and so many years of your life into this creative project and then to just have these expectations and have these desires and have them completely fall flat.

Again, I don’t know that it’s necessarily anyone’s fault. And sure, you could be like, “Well, Bethany, you made a bad record.” But no, that’s not the truth. I fucking love my record, and really that’s what matters. But the industry now — it’s just, like, the amount of fucking selling yourself that you have to do, the amount of videos you have to make, the amount of promotion that you have to do. To then just be like, “Cool. My record came out, and it basically went away.” I mean, no, it didn’t go away, right? It exists forever. You can listen to it anytime. I can listen to it anytime. But when we look at it and evaluate it in terms of the commercial success lens, yeah, it kind of already went away.

And I have beat myself up over this for so many months. I have said, “Well, you just suck. You’re too old for this industry. There’s all these cooler younger people who took your place.” Like, I already had the success with Best Coast. Maybe it’s just like, “Well, if you want it, that’s where you gotta get it.” And I know that people are probably like, “Well, why don’t you just go back to Best Coast, Bethany?” And the truth is that Best Coast for me, at this point, feels like trying to fit into a pair of pants that I don’t fit into anymore. And this is not to discredit it. This is not to say that I don’t love what I’ve created. This is not to say that I don’t love Bobb. This is not to say that I don’t love you guys and the people that are here because of Best Coast. It’s just to say that it’s really hard to do something that doesn’t feel like you anymore, and I do believe that as human beings we are meant to evolve.

Sure, I could’ve just completely changed the sound of Best Coast, but, like, I didn’t wanna do that. I wanted Best Coast to be able to be its own thing and Bethany to go be her own thing. There have been so many days since I put this record out that I’ve been like, “Do I really wanna do this anymore? Am I even doing this anymore? Should I just go move to the woods and have a baby and, like, become a therapist? But honestly, like, I don’t think I know how to do anything but make music.

Sure, I can do a lot of things, but it’s the one thing that, like, makes me feel alive. And I’ve been so privileged all these years to have the thing that makes me feel alive be my job. But it’s been hard. It has. And, you know, I think that one of the things I’ve always been the best at doing is just telling the truth, being honest, being vulnerable, probably oversharing.

I don’t wanna sit here and have you think that I’m a failure because I’m not a fucking failure. Like, I’m doing fine. But I did think that the record was gonna do better. I did think that I was gonna get to go out on tour. I did think that I wouldn’t be feeling the way that I feel right now. And maybe that’s on me for having too high of expectations, but I don’t even think it’s that. Like, I believe in myself. So when you believe in yourself, you should have high expectations. You should have big dreams, big goals.

Anyway, I will put my music out. It will happen. And I’m so proud of the record that I made. And you know what? It’s my favorite record of the year. And I don’t want to sound like I’m so petty, bitter person. I just genuinely think the record I made is really fucking good, and I love it. And again, that’s what matters. I guess maybe at the heart of this message is: If you really love something, do it. Don’t give up. Don’t overthink it. Don’t say, “Well, I should just do the other thing that works already.” No. Do the think you wanna do. Make the thing you wanna make. You know what? If it doesn’t work out, that’s OK. I’m so grateful for the career that I have had and that I will continue to have. And thank you. OK, I’m gonna shut up now because I just exposed myself. Cheers!

Natural Disaster is out now on Concord Records. Read our We’ve Got A File On You interview with Bethany Cosentino here.

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