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Cayucas bring surf rock to San Diego shores

Cayucas live at Soma San Diego-slide0
Photo: Lauren Wilson

Even before Cayucas took the stage, I could hear the chitter chatter from the audience of who was about to come on. “I’ve seen Cayucas before and they’re really good. When I heard they were playing tonight I got really excited,” said one girl to her friend. While most people seemed unsure of who they are, they were welcomed quite quickly.

Made up of Zach and Ben Yudin, Casey Wojtalewicz, and Christian Koons, these Santa Monica rockers were formerly called Oregon Bike Trails before signing to Secretly Canadian Records in 2012. Their debut full length album, Bigfoot, was released early 2013.

Harmonizing voices in their opening song, it started off atmospheric, mellow to the point of hypnotism. They soon broke the spell as their energy began to rise, a steadiness that kept through the night. Yet about midway through their set, they switched gears to dedicate a song to the Bay Area, much to the joy of a surprising amount of people. At first, it took me a while to understand what Zach was singing, but it was inherently clear at the chorus as he repeated “Hella,” a funny nod to the Nor Cal slang.

Ending with “Swimsuit”, it was obvious they had won over the crowd. The crowd’s hands were extended into the air, waving back and forth with a. The steady climb in energy hit its peak at this point, as the break down found Christian wailing in an impressive guitar solo that all came down with the crash of the cymbals.

If I closed my eyes, the songs of Cayucas would sound like I was on a beach in Hawaii, wet-suiting up for a day in the waves. In a location of perpetual sunlight and a vibrant beach culture, it embodies the carefree San Diego vibes. This is the kind of music worth seeking out the album for the upcoming summer, the perfect soundtrack for bonfires and lazy nights.