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Formerly dubbed Oregon Bike Trails, Cayucas doesn’t hail from the Beaver State, nor from the small beach town of Cayucos in San Luis Obispo County, Calif.; its members hail from another coastal city, Santa Monica. But in the tune “Cayucos,” Cayucas vocalist/lead guitarist Zach Yudin sings about the little comunity “past Morro Bay” with the nostalgia of a native, remembering long-ago days in the surf riding a “big fat wave” and chasing a girl.
Cayucas (kah-YOO-kis) has released only three songs to date, but the tunes have been getting plenty of alternative radio play, and its surf-pop vibe makes a strong impression. Think the breeziness and laid-back vocals of Foster the People mixed with the sweet, simpler-times lyrics and beachy melodies of Best Coast, and you get the idea.
Yudin began in 2011 as the one-man band Bike Trails, and under that name he recorded early versions of “Cayucos” and “High School Lover,” Cayucas’ latest single in which Yudin reminisces about a comely classmate he failed to pursue. Turns at South by Southwest and appearances at smaller venues such as the Echo in Echo Park built industry and local buzz, leading to a record deal with Secretly Canadian last fall.
Now Yudin tours with a full band including bassist Ben Yudin (Zach’s twin brother), keyboardist Banah Winn, drummer Casey Wojtalewicz and guitarist Christian Koons. And the (very) small stages Cayucas has been accustomed to playing on are getting much bigger; it recently opened for Ra Ra Riot at venues including the Fillmore in San Francisco. The buzz should hit fever pitch when the album Bigfoot drops on April 30.
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