Mom + Pop Music· February 14, 2020
After “Prom Queen,” from Beach Bunny’s third EP with the same name, went viral on Tik Tok, singer/songwriter Lili Trifilio has returned with an even stronger portrayal of what it means to be a woman in today’s society. In their first LP, Honeymoon, Beach Bunny dives through themes of love, heartbreak, and insecurity, without losing their familiar upbeat indie pop energy.
Trifilio’s lyrics are simple, but meaningful. They make you feel like reading her diary, and it is her vulnerability that captivates the listener for the album’s entire 25 minutes. Despite being a shorter LP, Beach Bunny makes up for it by making every second count.
Trifilio’s voice is reminiscent of Paramore’s Hayley Williams, and her style is reflective of Snail Mail. Throughout the album, there are hints of Best Coast, Charly Bliss, and The Beths. Still, Trifilio and the rest of Beach Bunny have created their own distinct sound. From powerful one-liners like “rose-colored lenses eventually crack” to rock instrumentals and distorted keyboards, Honeymoon is honest, relatable, and hard not to dance along with.
The album opens with “Promises,” a tribute to how breakups can leave you with mixed emotions. “A part of me still wants you / A part of me wants to fall asleep,” Trifilio tells. Her ideas aren’t original; everybody is forced to deal with confusing emotions at one point or another. Yet, she frames this universal feeling in a new way, and it’s almost like the audience experiences it with her for the first time.
“Cuffing Season” and “April” are both testaments to the difficulties that come with dating. “I’m not overthinkin’, but I think about you a lot / And maybe I am just an afterthought,” she sings on the latter. Trifilio’s lyrics rely on stereotypical female problems, like loving someone who loves someone else. In “Ms. California,” she admits, “She sleeps in your t-shirts / It hurts, I wish I was with her.” Her verses are playful, followed by powerful, rock choruses. Even though the themes are overused and cliche, her listeners feel her pain.
In “Racetrack,” a short, ballad-like track close to the album’s end, Trifilio compares love to a race. “I always end up in second place.” In the final two songs, however, she seems more confident. In “Dream Boy,” she declares, “If you’re gonna love me, make sure that you do it right.”
The album ends, figuratively and literally, on “Cloud 9.” It deals with being too reliant on someone else to feel good about yourself. Trifilio is able to capture the difficulties of self-love and the internalized misogyny that makes it difficult for many women to feel complete without being in a relationship. She demonstrates her talent by making her individual experience understood by all who listen to her.
Beach Bunny certainly established their sound with Honeymoon. All four members improved in their own way since their last EP was released in 2018 and have distinguished themselves as a persuasive force in the alternative genre. As the band continues to grow, it will be interesting to see how their style grows with them. If Trifilio can continue to be authentic while exploring different ideas in her songwriting, there is no stopping how far Beach Bunny can go.