Cayucas - Bigfoot

Not particularly profound, but seriously pleasant.

Label: Secretly Canadian

Rating: 7

So you know how cold it is and how much we’re all complaining? Well, you might want to stick this album on, lie beneath a lamp, close your eyes and pretend you’re in sunny California.

‘Big Foot’ is the debut album from Santa Monica indie band Cayucas, named after Cayucos, a small, sleepy town on the California coastline, still existing happily in a 60s beach bum-surfer craze nostalgia. This sense of looking backwards and seeking pleasure in the past plays a key role in shaping the record, with 60s and 70s-era rock serving as the base on which front man Zach Yudin and his band were able to build something new, true to its roots but playfully and carefully altered.

‘Ayawa’kya’, the album’s opener, is a swinging, chugging, irresistibly upbeat song, a wonderful balance of electronic bangs at the beginning, and acoustic guitars and percussion shortly afterwards. Yudin’s vocal has very slight reverb throughout the album, which is particularly successful in his moments of wonderfully simple harmonisation. The lyrics in ‘Ayawa’kya’ get slightly lost amidst the ticking business of the instrumentation beneath, except for odd moments when you can catch Yudin speaking - but not rapping, it feels too relaxed for that - select phrases like ‘clickety-clack’ or ‘no need for corduroys’. No, not particularly profound, but seriously pleasant.

‘Cayucos’ is another light, bright track, all sea salt and sandy shores, reminiscent of childhood days spent surfing: ‘Did you see me up there, looking down below? / Waves coming, so slow.’ A love song to the town and its surroundings, the heady joy of thinking about the place seeps into every line, begging us to click our fingers and clap our hands in celebration. Other highlights include ‘East Coast Girl’, its title reminiscent of The Beach Boys, its style far more more subdued, with a simple melody and an infectious, repetitive bass line, and ‘High School Lover’, the album’s first single.

In ‘Bigfoot’ and ‘Deep Sea’, there are moments, particularly vocally, when it feels so relaxed that it sounds half-hearted, the lyrics are difficult to discern, and the repetition of words or riffs gets tiring. But they’re rare. This is a feel-good hug of an album, which will transport you to the care-free, peace and love West Coast in a matter of minutes. And it’s much cheaper than a flight.