Summer is just around the corner. After the prolonged winter blues I was beginning to wonder if we were actually being assigned a seasonal shift into spring this year. Snow by the roadside well into April and regular donning of big coats until just a couple of weeks ago, it was all getting rather prosaic. My faith was restored by a chasm of sunshine when "Bigfoot" by Cayucas landed in my inbox though. Released earlier this week and offering a welcome dose of summery indie-pop to anyone that needs it, this is one of those records that should instantly raise a smile. If it doesn't then you probably like the cold and watching people slip on ice, and certainly don't appreciate hippy types shining a happy beam in your crestfallen fizzog anyway. So for those of us looking for a free-spirited musical lift, let's go! The campervan engine's running and we've got enough herbage to see us to San Fran and back.
This is a short album but one packed full with great moments. It's not music intended to make you ponder your existence but it will definitely add colour to your day. Most of the songs are addictively chirpy like "East Coast Girl" which is somewhere along the lines of Salim Nourallah's "Hit Parade" from last year or Vampire Weekend's first long player. Or try "High School Lover" which despite being about the closest relation to Beck's "New Pollution" you'll hear is still really good fun. "Will "The Thrill"" couples dazed lyrics ("And I was like, oh my god, is this actually happening to me?") with chilled, ambling rhythms. There's less of the stoner-surf dude vibe on "A Summer Thing" though which sounds like The Beach Boys laying idiosyncratic harmonies over a Buddy Holly classic. (If that sounds like it couldn't possibly work then one listen should teach you not to be so rash.) "Deep Sea", "Ayawa 'Kya" and "Bigfoot" add a maturity to the overall feel of the album, slowing things down some towards the end and there's some really ace production throughout but it's in these final three tracks where you'll hear some well-produced beats and plenty of smart layers within the sound.
If you love Vampire Weekend's campus-indie catchiness, Beck's slick retro-coolness, or you grew up listening to Paul Simon's "Graceland" and still see it as the most perfectly formed slice of pop genius in history; then this is definitely something you'll want to hear. Ok, so Cayucas (Zach Yudin and his band) don't reinvent the wheel, pioneer uncharted ground or take music into any mind-bendingly cosmic new age here but they have made a great big dollop of love and fun they want to share with people - deftly squeezing it all into thirty one minutes at that - and that's good enough for me.