by NPR Music’s Stephen Thompson
If you’ve ever been poolside on a hot day, you know what it’s like to have your senses bombarded with leisure; to feel the sun radiating and shimmering off everything around you. Watch the first few moments of this Field Recording, with its bobbing inner tubes and lounging vacationers, and you can practically smell the spots where chlorine meets concrete.
We filmed the band late one morning at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs — a setting that also produced an eager dancer, assorted rubberneckers and one particularly agreeable dog. All in all, perfect surroundings in which to re-create the laconic pop-rock of the California band Cayucas.
Sitting poolside on a picnic table, the band performed its bittersweet single “High School Lover” with only an acoustic guitar and light percussion for accompaniment. In any form, the song isn’t all sunshine — its youthful nostalgia gets filtered carefully through the prism of regret — but this performance is plenty bright, as Cayucas’ members locate their best-known song’s laid-back heartbeat. “High School Lover” provides a perfect soundtrack to the shimmery leisure that surrounds the band on all sides here. But it also leaves room on the agenda for hints of sadness and sunburn.
Watch Cayucas perform an entire session — indoors this time, on Morning Becomes Eclectic.