From the Californian coast come this century’s answer to the Beach Boys
The calendar says September, the holiday is over, the leaves are starting to fall and the days are getting shorter, but for a few hours at Vega on Tuesday, the Californian indie-pop band Cayucas are bringing summer back.
The name Cayucas (pronounced ‘ky-yook-us’) is a homage to a sleepy little seaside town in San Luis Obispo County, California – a town that has barely changed over the last 50 years and is a far cry from the gentrified tourist traps parading showily down the nearby coastline. In the early 1960s, the surfing craze hit. According to frontman Zach Yudin, speaking to his label, there was one bar around that local kids congregated back then, which was “the site of helpless crushes and fights and games of pool – a place whose jukebox soundtracked innumerable teenage years as breezy summers rolled into mild winters and back around again”. The bar has since disappeared, but apparently the place still holds on tight to its propensity for dreamy, lazy, bonfire-lit nights worth getting moony-eyed about.
Not for nothing is the band named after this little surfer town on the Californian coast; their music is clearly inspired by the Californian sun, lapping waves and a laid-back way of life that evoke the Beach Boys and the sounds of the 1960s. It is the sound of nostalgic Californian summer days by the beach, but with a modern and humoristic perspective.
The man behind the project is Yudin, the lead singer and songwriter, but Cayucas also include Yudin’s twin brother Ben Yudin on bass, Banah Winn on keyboards, Casey Wojtalewicz on drums and Christian Koons on guitar. Zach Yudin, then a musician for nearly five years, posted his first song under the name Oregon Bike Trails at the beginning of 2011, but in 2012, Yudin expanded from a solo project to a band, changed the group’s name to Cayucas and signed with the American indie label Secretly Canadian. Last autumn their first single, ‘Swimsuit’, was released, and in February, the band went on tour with Ra Ra Riot.
Their debut album, Bigfoot, from April this year was produced by multi-artist Richard Swift and contains eight tracks of summer-pop and retro-feelings. The album is a short and sweet instant charmer, and the sound is relentlessly warm and tropical, with rickety high-pitched keys, light and breezy percussion, and calm, echoed vocals. All the songs are written by Zach Yudin by culling samples from eclectic mid-20th century sources such as the Animals and Harry Belafonte, piecing them together into a collage, and afterwards replacing the samples with original instrumentation resulting in a vaguely retro feel and a sound akin to that of Vampire Weekend.
The album generally received very good reviews with several critics remarking that, although not all eight tracks were standout tracks, the record did not contain any bad songs. The two most popular tunes from the album are the calypso-meets-indie of ‘Cayucos’ and the nostalgic ‘High School Lover’.
The concert at Ideal Bar on Tuesday is part of Cayucas’s first European tour and is a great opportunity to postpone the winter depression and listen to some catchy, easy-going tunes ready-made for summer beach trips, pool parties and barbecues.
Ideal Bar, Vega, Enghavevej 40, Cph V;