The EARL in East Atlanta isn’t known for it’s sunny disposition. The back room of The EARL, where any good band that has come through Atlanta has played at least once, is dimly lit ready for some rock ‘n’ roll. But on this particular Wednesday night, the lights were still dark, but the vibe was anything but.
Cayucas is an indie rock band from sunny Santa Monica, California on Secretly Canadian where musically, they are all about those southern California vibes. Beaches, oceans, blue lagoons, the nostalgia of long drives on sunny days, Cayucas knows how to convey it all into one breezy set that had the audience forgetting about the dark room they are in. The harmonies are tight, the Beach Boy-esc melodies are strong, and they take parts of surf rock to modern day indie to present the listener with a full beachy existence.
Cayucas is led by twin brothers Zach and Ben Yudin. Both could be mistaken for beach bums or blonde surfers. You know the old saying blondes stick together? Is that even a saying? Well, based on my highly scientific study at this show, I’m pretty sure that holds true. There seemed to be more blondes in the crowd than any other show I’ve seen at The EARL, and sometimes I feel like I live there. There was also a higher number of hawaiian shirts in the crowd. But don’t mistake this for a Jimmy Buffett concert, there weren’t any margarita shots being thrown down people’s throats (and if there were why wasn’t I invited?), nope it was just Cayucas taking landlocked Atlanta on a journey to the beaches of SoCal!
There was also a large group of Florida people that traveled from somewhere in the state to profess their love of Cayucas, loudly, because Cayucas didn’t have a Florida date. I guess beach bums also stick together in addition to blondes (side note: did I wish I was a blonde beach bum on this night? Maybe).
Cayucas jumped onto the scene the with the nostalgic song “High School Lover” from their first album Bigfoot from 2013 that always gets the crowds dancing and singing along. It’s a great introduction into what this band is about. They actually first released the song as Oregon Bike Trails back in 2011. “High School Lover” is always a set highlight for these guys. There were other highlights from the first album like “Cayucos”, “Bigfoot”, and “East Coast Girl”.
Earlier this year Cayucas released their sophomore album, Dancing In The Blue Lagoon, where they continued to deliver the SoCal vibes with plenty of set highlights from this new album including the title track which just makes me want to find any water in Georgia and dance along in it. They started the set out and got us all going with “Mooney-Eyed”, then went into the upbeat “Hella” and we knew this would be a fun show.
If there was one complaint, it’s only that the fellas are nonchalant beach bums (ok they aren’t bums at all, but really cool dudes) that don’t really say or do too much during their set. They are there to play, and occasionally have a little crowd interaction. Not too much dancing around from the members of the band. But really who needs that when you play and sound so good? Plus they already had their Florida cheering section there to jump up and down for them. All in all the crowd sure loved this show and for good reason. Now I just need to go to SoCal and hang with these dudes and live the life they so aptly sing about.
Listen to their new album on Spotify: