Album Review: Cayetana – “Hot Dad Calendar”

Last time I took in Cayetana‘s demo, I felt like the Philly trio needed a label that would help them explore further the potential they possess. Lo and behold, Tiny Engines takes the rein and in just two songs, Cayetana show just why they have fans clamoring for a full-length, like now.

Guitarist/vocalist Augusta Koch’s jangly voice works wonders in their sound and “Hot Dad Calendar” feels like an indie, coming-of-age tune as the lyrics point out. ‘Kid, you’ll be OK / You get better with age / I know you really wanna make it out alive’ touches on the open imagination and sentimentality of the band with their sprawling chorus and chill, twinkly breakdowns. The melody rides a shoegaze vibe at times but it sticks as an offspring of their punk essence with a heavy, rolling bassline. The raw, thumping and imperfect tone is indeed worthwhile.

“Ella” feels much more relaxed and assured yet it isn’t as hard-hitting as the opener. There’s a quiet strumming that builds to a more rough, grainy sound that doesn’t come off as mastered at all, but once more the indie-punk aspect of the band is played up. Their style feels organic on top of memorable vocals, affecting lyrics and a steady set of spiky drums. These all showcase a remarkable and poppy chemistry that’s all-inclusive, especially in genres of indie and folk. It’s less punk than what I expected but it’s unflinching and beautiful, and I’ll be hammering with this come summer as I head to the beach.

3.5/5 Stars

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