I’m just gonna come out and say it. Cayetana might actually have come out with the record of the year. At the very least, it’s certainly up there in that category of bands who release incredible, gut-wrenchingly honest debut records. From the opening chords of ‘Serious Things Are Stupid’, as Augusta Koch’s perfectly imperfect vocals ring out “I came here alone / and I plan to leave that way”, it’s difficult to think that this record could be anything but amazing. Nervous Like Me is infectious, low-fi pop-punk ambrosia. Drink it in and be inspired.
Nervous Like Me may not be punk rock 101, but it’s certainly rooted firmly in that tradition. It’s impossible to think that they barely knew how to play a damn thing before forming in 2011, but three years and a shedload of shows can teach you a thing or two. That being said, these tracks aren’t a million miles away from 2012’s demo., in that they’ve got that raw, unflinching emotion running the whole way through, and an almost organic sense of melody. Kelly Olsen’s beats are executed to absolute precision, and Allegra Anka’s rumbling basslines tie each song together beautifully. From the surf-punk splendour of ‘Animal’ to the scuzzy, unrelenting buzz of ‘Favourite Things’, it all fits together perfectly against the odds.
In a genre that’s oversaturated by dudebros (although this is getting lesser and lesser, which is awesome), it’s also pretty great to hear these kind of songs coming from a female perspective. It’s easy to get burned out on tracks about perpetual teenagers or disillusioned male millenials when there’s so much around, but Cayetana’s simple, heartfelt approach is honest and refreshing. There’s still all the trials and tribulations of being 20-something right here, right now, but it’s beautifully presented and completely absorbing. ‘Madame B’ sums it all up better than anything else could. Before the bridge kicks in, Koch drawls “Tell me, is there strength behind my eyes?” and I don’t think I’ve ever empathised with a song so much. Even if you’re a non-believer, as ‘South Philly’ builds to a triumphant crescendo, you’ll get it. You will.
If I haven’t convinced you how incredible this record is (it’s likely I haven’t, because I just can’t stop gushing about it), then head over to SoundCloud, take half an hour and discover something extraordinary.
5 out of 5 high fives!