Before we start, I should point out I’m not a professional music reviewer, I’m not an audiophile, and I’m not the kind of person who meticulously analyzes every note and word. No, I just like music. And to be honest, that’s who most of us are, just normal people with certain music tastes, and perfectly capable of discerning what they like and what they don’t; all without professional accreditations. Keep that in mind for these album reviews: the only credibility anyone need is their preference.
A word about the group first. Cayucas was originally Oregon Bike Trails, a primarily solo venture by Zach Yudin. In 2012 he grew Oregon Bike Trails into a four-man band, changing the name to Cayucas, and signed with indie record label Secretly Canadian. After releasing a single, Cayucas recorded their first full album (although it’s still only 30 minutes) in 2013, named “Bigfoot.”
The album opens with Cayucos, a song that manages to fuse a quick drum beat with a laid-back attitude, a statement true of most of the album. Subconsciously, it brings to mind happy summer memories with its Beach Boys-esque rhythms and vocals, and a 1960s’ vibe vaguely floats through the album.
Recorded in the rainy Pacific Northwest, its views of summer, warmth, and sleepy towns, seem almost like nostalgic sentiments of a Californian a month removed from the state. While its overall theme is rather separate from the alternative mainstream (if that makes sense), it sometimes falls into the electronic, echoey place reminiscent of so many other alternative groups nowadays.
As I mentioned, the Cayucas maintains a laid-back attitude, and it almost feels like the musicians are just a group of friends having a conversation with you, not begging you to listen, not trying for your attention with complicated builds or crescendos, it just is, perhaps a hallmark of the surfer town vibe they capture so well.
Secretly Canadian has this to say about the album’s background:
Cayucas: Pronounced “ky-yook-us”, is the monikered homage to a sleepy little seaside town in San Luis Obispo County, California. That town, Cayucos, has hardly changed in the last 50 years, a far cry from the gentrified tourist traps parading showily down the nearby coastline. In the early 1960s, the surfing craze hit. There was one bar around which local kids congregated back then, 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 as Zach Yudin, the man behind the name, will tell you, the place still holds on tight to its propensity for dreamy, lazy, bonfire-lit nights worth getting moony-eyed about.
I doubt I’d ever review music I wouldn’t recommend, but either way, it’s worth a listen. And a purchase. You deserve something nice anyway, don’t you?
- High School Lover
- Will “The Thrill”
- A Summer Thing
- East Coast Girl
- Deep Sea
- Ayawa ‘kya