For a debut album, Beach Bunny’s “Honeymoon” has surpassed listeners’ expectations. This indie album features themes of heartache, jealousy and infatuation, along with embodying lessons learned while growing up.
Signed to Mom + Pop Music, Beach Bunny has released four EPs, a string of singles and one album. The Chicago-born indie band is composed of guitar and vocalist Lili Trifilio, guitarist Matt Henkels, bassist Jon Alvarado and drummer Anthony Vaccaro.
Released on Feb. 14, “Honeymoon” displays Beach Bunny’s ability to create balance between sounds. From “Dream Boy” to “Colorblind” to “Cuffing Season,” Beach Bunny, again and again, showcases its talent for precise vocals and headbanging instrumentals.
Beach Bunny immediately begins “Honeymoon” with lyrics so vulnerable that listeners are taken aback. “Honeymoon” introduces itself with the high-energy tune “Promises,” in which Trifilio’s clear, powerful vocals are accentuated by a resonating guitar and a punchy drumbeat. The driving drums set the tone for the song with a heavy accent on beats two and four, leaving listeners bopping their heads along with the rhythm. The song features the distinct, recognizable feeling of heartbreak while still allowing listeners to connect their own experiences to the lyrics. Beach Bunny captures the back-and-forths of heartache in the lyric “part of me / still wants you / part of me / wants to fall asleep.” “Promises” asks hard, open-ended questions that leave listeners reflecting on the song’s meaning.
“Rearview” begins with a delicate yet melancholy guitar pattern which amplifies the song’s overall mood. Trifilio’s exposed vocals soar over the guitar, creating a stark contrast between the two opposing forces. As the chorus hits, however, the guitar switches and suddenly the song’s personality takes a sharp turn and begins building for the final hit. The song finally climaxes in the outro when Beach Bunny unites to form one single sound. “Rearview” portrays the downsides of trying to attain the unattainable, along with the negatives of trying to compare oneself to others. The song’s escalation into an intense outro is symbolic of Trifilio’s change of emotion surrounding her heartache. As the song transforms into its final form, Trifilio’s attitude surrounding her heartache changes. She loses her previous remorse and instead becomes almost spiteful in the face of heartbreak. The song’s expansion into an explosion of sound is akin to Trifilio recognizing her grief and attempting to overcome it.
In “Cloud 9,” Beach Bunny has produced a light-hearted song detailing the purest form of love. With Trifilio’s voice accompanied by a driving drum beat, “Cloud 9” ends the album with just the right amount of energy and bounce. The optimistic song portrays Trifilio’s infatuation with a boy, and her happiness is almost physically tangible throughout the song. Trifilio’s feelings can only be described as pure bliss, and this euphoria is highlighted through upbeat instrumentals. This unapologetic infatuation is admirable throughout the song, making listeners want to dance along. As the last song on this album, “Cloud 9” has a perfect balance between vocals and instrumentals.
When considering the whole album, “Racetrack” is the only song that borders on cliché. Filled with uninspired instrumentals and commonplace lyrics, this song doesn’t provide any element of clarity to the album. “Honeymoon” has built its repertoire to include a myriad of energetic songs, and “Racetrack” simply cannot retain the listener’s attention. From the slow-moving piano to Trifilio’s saddened lyrics, “Racetrack” stands in stark contrast to other songs on this album.
For a debut album, Beach Bunny has truly created something special. In 25 phenomenal minutes, Beach Bunny has conceived an album relevant to the times and mindsets of many young adults. In “Honeymoon,” Trifilio has truly allowed listeners to peek into her vulnerabilities, along with showcasing Beach Bunny’s incredible balance of sound.
“Honeymoon” is the product of awareness of growing up in modern times. With a prodigious album underneath its belt, Beach Bunny certainly has a future full of potential. In the ephemeral scene of indie-pop, let’s hope Beach Bunny sticks around to teach a few more lessons.