Built around the heartfelt songs and vocals of Lili Trifilio, Beach Bunny began as a bedroom-recording project. When she added a full band and pumped up the sound punk-pop style, they landed on the radar with the brutally honest “Prom Queen.” Their debut album, Honeymoon, followed the same template, but by the time of 2021′s Blame Game EP, and especially on 2022′s Emotional Creature, they reduced the punk half of the equation without sacrificing any of the insistent melodies or the tangible pain of Trifilo’s words and voice.
Trifilio began making music under the Beach Bunny name in the mid-2010s, soon releasing two EPs — Animalism (2015) and Pool Party (2016) — that were largely acoustic and full of moody introspection. With the addition of rhythm section Aiden Cada (bass) and Jon Alvarado (drums), and guitarist Matt Henkels, things began to skew more toward fuzzy ’90s-indebted indie pop and in 2018, the band landed a streaming hit with the infectious title cut from their 2018 EP Prom Queen. After Anthony Vaccaro replaced Cada on bass, Beach Bunny had gained enough momentum that labels began to take notice, and they soon joined the Mom + Pop roster, which released their full-length debut, Honeymoon, in February 2020. More muscular in production, the album showcased Trifilio’s sharp songwriting and the band’s increased cohesion.
Soon after Beach Bunny finished touring behind the album, Trifilo found herself back at her parent’s house riding out the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, While there, she was forced to look inward to come up with material for songs and decided to expand the band’s punk-pop sound. The first result of the latter came to light on the Blame Game, which was produced by Joe Reinhart during a lull in the pandemic in August 2020. The songs centered around themes of toxic masculinity and relationships, while dialing back the guitar crunch a little, especially on the jangling title track. The EP was released in November 2021; by then Beach Bunny had begun working on their second album with many of the songs inspired by Trifilo’s bedroom daydreaming and sci-fi reading. The sound of the album fulfilled her desire for growth by utilizing more dynamic arrangements, keyboards, occasional shoegaze textures, and sweet vocal harmonies. Helmed by Fall Out Boy producer Sean O’Keefe, Emotional Creature was released in July 2022, after which the band headed out on a lengthy American tour. ~ Timothy Monger & Tim Sendra