Originally the solo bedroom pop endeavor of Chicagoan Lili Trifilio, Beach Bunny found its legs in 2018 as fully formed fuzz-pop quartet, landing a streaming hit with the dark-witted body image paean "Prom Queen." More so than on her earlier more-acoustic releases, Trifilio's full-band version of Beach Bunny revealed a knack for infectious pop hooks played with a collaborative energy, which helped propel her anxious observations beyond mere folk confessionalism. The success of "Prom Queen" also helped the group net a deal with New York indie Mom + Pop Records, which offers up their full-length debut, Honeymoon. Like the self-released EP that preceded it, Honeymoon capitalizes on Trifilio's emotional honesty and strong melodic sense, but with a bolder production aesthetic, doing away with some of the lo-fi leanings of her previous output. Having spent the last couple of years gelling as a live band, Beach Bunny seem altogether more streamlined here, even flirting with elements of pop-punk precision on cuts like "Cuffing Season" and "Colorblind," though without losing their indie charm. Most of the songs are up-tempo, with Trifilio taking a timeout on the introspective electric piano piece "Racetrack" and the more jagged "Rearview," the latter of which is played entirely solo until its mighty final 30 seconds. Honeymoon is bookended by a pair of highlights in "Promises" and "Cloud 9," two rousing tracks that connect squarely and showcase the best of what Beach Bunny can do. There's an endearing tenderness to Trifilio's personal songwriting style that mostly avoids emo clichés, and the band's cautiously buoyant indie pop walks the line between sweet and muscular on this solid debut.
AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger