Hailing from California and named in tribute to a sleepy town in San Luis Obispo County, Cayucas are purveyors of indie-surf pop of the most enjoyable variety. Already receiving considerable attention for debut single Cayucos, and having landed a spot at Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, their résumé is pretty impressive for a band who only got singed late last year and have yet to release their debut album.
As their label website aptly states, Cayucas are “California through-and-through” and High School Lover is a perfectly crafted pop gem. Rooted firmly in the wave-lapped legacy of surf music, High School Lover bounces along on a catchy bass-line and insistent drums. Meanwhile, Zach Yudin’s lazy vocals drift over reverb-drenched guitar stabs, which keep proceedings suitably mellow. The chorus is light and breezy, complete with cheerful harmonies and a new slacker motto: “You should have been my high school lover”. Although the track fades away rather than going out with a bang, it seems totally in keeping with the non-committal yet optimistic tone of the song. While the obvious comparison to The Beach Boys hangs overhead, it is an appropriate one. Cayucas share that quintessentially Californian quality of being able to perfectly soundtrack long summer days and bonfire lit nights, which The Beach Boys did so well. They also have a lot in common with fellow Californian bands Best Coast and Delta Spirit in that respect, but Zach has actually made a Spotify playlist of tunes that influenced Cayucas which you can check out here.
The video to the song is meant to resemble “a high school girl’s notebook with doodles and sketches” according to director Cameron Dutra, and was inspired by High School Lover’s origins, which lie in Zach Yudin’s own high school years. Apparently a girl would write him love letters to which he never responded, despite liking her back. High School Lover is a belated response of sorts, and when the response is this exuberant and catchy it is definitely better late than never.
High School Lover is out on the 11th of March and will feature on Cayucas’s debut album Bigfoot, out 30th April through Secretly Canadian.