Caucus’ sophomore effort begins like a soundtrack to a travel documentary as it soars across musical landscapes and open aired tribal drum tracks competing with the glorious Zach and Ben Yudin vocalizing layers of sunny pop disposition. Lyrically intelligent, emotionally expansive, the two uses indie beach stomp and a lot of imagination. Nature employs the fantastical to create motion and movement. “Moony Eyed Walrus” is your first taste of it all while adding speculation of a young Beach Boys accentuation, found floating somewhere in the 22nd Century.
But what does this mean for Cayucas? I have never laid my ears on the band’s debut, but I can imagine not much deviation can be made for the broad spectrum that is Dancing at the Blue Lagoon. “Hella” will turn an urban rooftop party into a Midnight dance frenzy with bare feet firmly planted in the sand. It’s a glorious aural celebration, and the group turns the California sound into the time of your life.
But just as easy as the group can feel carelessly free, “Ditches” is one of the more sincere ballads that spins strings and a piano in the cadence of a late ‘70s music crooner. It is something better than any popular hipster band could convey and one of the highlights of this album. The song exemplifies an elegant lesson to help us learn about the deeper meanings of life without telling us what we should or should not do, an element that lies behind the secret to their success.
The band can easily bend ethnicity into their songs, as the title track burns, while keeping the foundation of anything they do succinctly indie pop. Maybe it’s a limitation to the band or intelligence, but they never step above their means. Identity seems to be important.
It’s refreshing to experience a happy album like this. You can feel the smile on their faces, and if you are not wanting to get up and dance, then you might want to check your pulse. Don’t make any mistake, this album is a journey and the Yudin’s do a smashing job at providing you with all of the imaginary elements to be your guides of coconut smells and pink flamingos catching every wave of sun. Enjoy that beach walk, even if it is in your mind.