Over the past few years, along with electronic music, indie pop bands have found themselves in the unfamiliar position of becoming fixtures on alt rock stations, but also pop radio. Groups like Grouplove, fun. and Passion Pit, have redefined what it means to be a popular band and have dominated both airwaves and commercials. Collectively, they’ve helped the genre shift from afterthought to mainstream rock. A lesser-known band that could be poised to break out in the coming months could be Santa Monica surf pop outfit Cayucas.
Though he’d been playing in bands for a few years, Zach Yudin first posted a solo song under the name Oregon Bike Trails in 2011. He composed and recorded these songs in comfort of his own bedroom. These songs were initially to be part of a solo project, but in 2012, Yudin brought in a backing band. They composed of his twin brother Ben Yudin on bass, Banah Winn on keyboards, Casey Wojtalewicz on drums, and Christian Koons on guitar. He decided to change the project’s name to Cayucas, a slight variation of Cayucos, a town in San Luis Obispo county and approximately three hours north of Santa Monica home.
Cayucas’s music is more than an appropriate tribute to the town they’re paying tribute to. Combing elements of bright, sunny indie pop with modern rock sensibilities, Yudin and his bandmates have created a sound that would have been at home 50 years ago when the surf sounds of the California coast ruled the airwaves (sense a pattern) from the likes of the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean and the Mamas and the Papas.
Despite having played together for a little over a year, Cayucas already have a song that’s caught on with on music listeners. “High School Lover” showcases the potential that the band possesses. It’s catchy, think late era Beach Boys (Pet Sounds instead of “Kokomo”) song with sparkling rhythms; the type of song that you’d feel comfortable listening to by a campfire on a summer evening. Initially released by Father/Daughter Records as a 7-inch, Cayucas has since signed with Secretly Canadian and their debut album, Bigfoot, was released a couple weeks ago and was produced by The Shins’ Richard Swift.
“High School Lover” may be the band’s most known track due to the strength of SiriusXM, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the album’s only standout track. This shows the depth of how talented of a songwriter Yudin is and that his ceiling is very high. When you’re on the beach either this holiday weekend or on subsequent summer vacation or even sitting poolside, be sure to crank out the sounds of summer, which this year means Cayucas.