I first heard of Cayetana in 2014; they were touring with The Menzingers, my favorite band at the time, and I was lucky enough to catch their opening set at the Rock and Roll Hotel in DC. Playing cuts from their debut album, “Nervous Like Me,” the Philly punk trio was melodic, energetic, and instantly likeable just because they were obviously having so much fun. A friend and I bought the album together, and I’ve been hogging it ever since (sorry not sorry, Katie).
The follow-up to that album comes out next year, but in the meantime, the band is releasing a split single with Melbourne Australia’s Camp Cope, another up-and-coming trio who released their own debut self-titled album in April.
The two tracks are now available for streaming, so here are some thoughts before I go preorder the vinyl.
Camp Cope: “Keep Growing”
“Maybe I’m destined to never change,
but I’ll keep growing my hair out.
I never want to do anything even when you’re around.
I’ll keep growing my hair out,
It’s not for you, no it’s not for you.”
Lead singer Georgia Maq sings this chorus with increasing resolve throughout Camp Cope’s contribution, a mellow but empowering alt-rock track about the struggle to come out of someone else’s shadow and stand on your own. Maq gives a passionate and nuanced performance, with some inspired moments of falsetto-oohs.
The rhythm section also shines on this track, with Kelly-Dawn Hellmrich’s bassline standing out as one of its best hooks. It comes in over drummer Sarah Thompson’s pounding tom-roll intro to serve as a consistent through-line, tying the song together and holding it down through Maq’s vocal register shifts.
As a sign of things to come for the band, the arrangement is promising; you can see Camp Cope developing as a group of musicians, coming into a kind of confidence or sure-footedness in composition which makes for great listening.
Listen here: https://campcope.bandcamp.com/track/keep-growing
“Your life left trails
and I still see them everywhere
Am I doomed to fail?
Am I doomed to repeat them?”
In Cayetana’s contribution, singer/guitarist Augusta Koch muses on loss and redemption over the melancholy chiming of her instrument. There’s always been a certain poignant quality to Koch’s delivery, which is difficult to describe—to call it mature seems too condescending, and to call it world-weary doesn’t do its liveliness justice. Anyway, “Trails” may be Koch’s most poignant performance to date, exploring a familiar emotional direction for the group but taking it a step further.
“If she forgives you, I forgive you,” she sings on the bridge refrain, accompanied only by the bass and drums.
Bassist Allegra Anka and drummer Kelly Olsen keep the instrumental punchy, ensuring that the song never drags or wallows in its sadness. Olsen in particular holds the track up with some well-placed snare rolls.
“Trails” is an overall interesting first look at Cayetana’s upcoming second album, sounding more like a deep-cut than a lead single, but it definitely leaves you prepared for more from the band.
The vinyl will be available through Poison City Records in mid-January 2017