January 16, 2014

7": Cayetana - Hot Dad Calendar

Cayetana's brand of surfy punk rock makes us wish summer would come sooner.

I've been dying to write about Cayetana since hearing their 2012 demo EP. A year later, my hopes and dreams have come true: the south Philly queens have released a new two-song EP, Hot Calendar Dads, on Tiny Engines Records. Like the best bands, Cayetana is the story of three girls coming together to make tunes and have zany adventures (this is also the concept for my sitcom, "The Zany Adventures of Three Girls Who Make Music and Hate Being Called Quirky"). Luckily, for a group with little musical experience, bassist Allegra Anka, lead vocalist/guitarist Augusta Koch, and drummer Kelly Olsen found the perfect recipe for surfy pop-punk. Cayetana's sound may be perfectly summarized by their demo's artwork: a chill little girl sunbathing in a tie-dye swimsuit with an unamused facial expression. Cayetana has definitely captured that laidback vibe.

The 7" includes a remaster of the demo's "Ella" and a new song, "Hot Dad Calendar." "Hot Dad Calendar" is more about overcoming hopelessness and shortcomings than it is about imagining a twelve month spread of your dream TV dads. The track is driven by catchy surf-pop guitars and utilizes brief instrumental breaks to heighten the periods between verses. The song evolves from Koch singing with a pop twang to a heartfelt plea: "And I know, you really wanna make it out alive." The song's catchy rhythm, combined with Koch's surprisingly raspy, soulful belt, create a powerful sound that surpasses the simple label of punk rock. The cleaned-up "Ella" still retains a raw fuzziness. The song is more lo-fi than "Hot Calendar Dads" and relies more on heavier basslines and drumbeats. Like the raw sound, the lyrics are similarly unflinching. Koch admits "The simplest mornings I miss you the most / when I wake up and you're not in bed / and I get nervous for just a few moments / till the thought rushes over my head / you're just walking your dog again." The powerful conclusion that "These are our dog days" feels wholly appropriate and again represents the band's desire to create something more affective than traditional pop punk.

Listen to Cayetana on bandcamp.

Written by Quinn Moreland