On Repeat: Best Coast/Kid Cudi/Rostam Batmanji - All Summer
Tapping Best Coast to write a song about summer is about as surprising as casting Michael Cera as an awkward teenager. They've been reliably churning out beach-centric tunes for the better part of a year, so when Converse propositioned them to take part in their new cross-culture commercial, they probably said "Sure, we can do that in our sleep." You may remember the original incarnation of this idea, resulting in a catchy Julian Casablancas, Santigold, Pharrel collaboration a few months back. This time, Converse has out-indied themselves, bringing together Best Coast, Kid Cudi and Rostam (from Vampire Weekend). The result is better than you might expect. Best Coast trades in her fuzzed out sound for clean (relatively), chunky guitars, Kid Cudi's popsicle voice slips and slides around a marching drum beat, sounding cooler and happier than he did at any point on his debut album. Best Coast has always had a sunny sound, but frontwoman Bethany keeps her boy-crazed lyrics in check here, mostly waxing on about drinking water and "trying to keep your eyes" in her chorus. Rostam's production is a but muted at the start, but as the second chorus rises, his fingerprints start to show and the churning guitars morph into zippy synths and the drums are buoyed by churchbells. Not bad for a slapdash corporate jingle, not bad at all.