Cool Music on a Hot Night

July 8th, 2013

Cayucas – Mercury Lounge – July 5, 2013

Led by Zach Yudin, the Santa Monica, Calif., band Cayucas produces infectious summer-filled tunes, backed by Starbucks and Paste magazine. The Southern Californians provide the perfect soundtrack for bike rides with friends, picnics in the park and, heck, even a good water fight in the streets. So it’s no wonder that it didn’t take long for Secretly Canadian to sign them last fall and that their debut full-length, Bigfoot, quickly followed this past April. Offering some solace for the New York City heat wave, Cayucas brought their charmingly seasonal ditties to a sold-out Mercury Lounge on Friday night.

An American flag tote, a remnant of the Fourth of July, hung from drummer Casey Wojtalewicz’s microphone stand. And Yudin welcomed the crowd with a hearty “Howdy, New York!” before diving into the single “East Coast Girl.” The audience swayed from the first song and the invitation to dance was further extended with “Cayucos.” Getting comfortable with the amiable onlookers, Yudin confessed that not only was it the band’s first New York City show, but it was also his first time ever visiting. As if there were any doubt, “A Summer Thing” was dedicated to the current season with its catchy ending verse, “It’s just a summer thing,” punctuating the sizzling sensation in the air.

To cool off, gears shifted with “Deep Sea,” evoking a cooler exploratory adventure, amongst the likes of the team from The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Back on land, Yudin revealed he was afraid of coming here before tackling “Bigfoot,” although the audience seemed to allay his fears. Fans erupted for “High School Lovers” and Yudin’s twin brother, Ben, followed by laying down heavy basslines for the clap-happy “Swimsuit.” No doubt, this fledgling band’s New York City debut was a steamy success. —Sharlene Chiu

Photos courtesy of Hilary J. Corts |