Well, this is weird, right?
I mean, we can all admit it’s weird that “California Nights” by Best Coast won Uproxx’s first-ever Song of the Summer bracket, and I say that as the guy who nominated it. I may very well be the least summer-song-savvy guy on this staff (another song I suggested: “Chinatown” by Girlpool, which is something a crazy person would do), but Best Coast has always had a “summer” vibe to me, perhaps owing to Bethany Cosentino’s dedication to Southern California, where it’s permanently summer. It got in the bracket, but nobody expected her to win.
That’s no disrespect to Best Coast, or “California Nights.” It’s a good song! I like it, or I wouldn’t have nominated it. The song shows a real evolution and maturity, even if Cosentino sticks to the sort of subjects that are her bailiwicks. It has an ethereal vibe that feels reminiscent, fittingly enough, of a summer night. Still, it’s an atypical choice for a song of the summer. People usually associate songs of the summer with bangers and jams, songs you can dance to, and so on. If you figure out a way to dance to “California Nights,” do inform us.
The song was a four-seed at the bottom of its region, and, as previously mentioned, was essentially the 16th song out of 16 in the entire bracket. Yet, Best Coast outlasted more popular, well-known artists. “California Nights” took down Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” in a direct vote. That’s an understatement. Best Coast crushed Taylor Swift, 1,278-467. This bracket was Bethany Cosentino’s march to the sea. She destroyed everybody in her way, leaving a swath of summer-song destruction behind her.
Rather, I should say her devoted fans did. Look, this is life on the internet. Best Coast won because their fans got out to vote. For whatever reason, they were really into “California Nights” winning this bracket. They rallied around Cosentino, and she rallied the troops, as well, very actively encouraging her fans to vote via Twitter. She retweeted essentially every tweet from us about her, which is cool. Thanks for paying attention, Bethany! Best Coast fans cared the most, and that’s why “California Nights” won.
This wasn’t about a bunch of impartial folks showing up to our bracket and declaring, “Say, this ‘California Nights’ song is a real peach. I’m going to vote for it.” It was Best Coast fans being all like, “Bethany Cosentino 4 life” and taking care of business. This is not to devalue this win at all. This was as valid a win as any other bracket on the internet. The internet is about people getting behind the things they love. It’s about tribalism and making your voice heard.
When I threw “California Nights” on a Google document one evening, I did not think that I would end up writing its coronation as Uproxx’s first official Song of the Summer. Best Coast fans had other ideas, though, and so here we are. You have yourself some devoted fans, Ms. Cosentino. I hope you give them a shout out for making this happen. You won together.