Premiere: Cayucas Charm with Light & Love in “Jessica WJ”

A fun bubbling pop song full of passion and charm, the delightful “Jessica WJ” offers a refreshing twist on Cayucas doing what Cayucas do best. 

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Shake, shake, shake, whoa-oh-oh!

There’s nothing quite like the sensation of meeting someone special. All of a sudden, the world changes: Your heart beats twice as fast as you soak up a moment you know could last you a lifetime. Your priorities shift, and life takes on new meaning: You pour your energy, everything you have into this new person. Cayucas evoke the euphoric sensation of someone new in “Jessica WJ,” a bubbly indie pop song that promises to leave you in smiles.

Jessica WJ - Cayucas

Jessica WJ – Cayucas

Oh Jessica WJ
Playing bass riffs, 1998
She’s forever left
In stories told
As Elizabeth, if you had only ever known

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the music video for “Jessica WJ,” Cayucas’ first release of 2019 and the single off their upcoming third album, Real Life (out April 19, 2019 via Park The Van Records). The Santa Monica, California-based indie pop duo of twin brothers Zach and Ben Yudin. Cayucas originally came to prominence over six years ago with the songs “Cayucos” and “High School Lover” off their debut album, Bigfoot. They kept the magic going with 2015’s follow-up Dancing at the Blue Lagoon, branching out sonically while maintaining a refreshingly upbeat style chock full of sprightly melodies.

Cayucas © 2019

Cayucas © 2019

Cayucas have come back into the fold over the past few months through songs like “Jessica WJ,” “Skeleton Closet,” and “Winter of ‘98” – each of which incorporates the group’s driving characteristic music style with new elements that help them sparkle as bright as ever. These songs, along with the entirety of Real Life, represent the fruits of a painstaking artistic process. Cayucas took time off from recording and touring to explore themselves – determining who they were going to be musically, and in what ways they could move their music forward.

“Jessica WJ” is a refreshing mix of old and new, offering a delightful twist on Cayucas doing what Cayucas do best. A whirly synth line and bouncy bass line open into Zach Yudin’s shimmering vocals. He sings about a chance encounter and his inability to get this special someone out of his mind, coming to a head in a luscious chorus full of lively energy:

Real Life - Cayucas

Real Life – Cayucas (out 4/19/2019)

Jessica, Jessica, Jessica, Jessica WJ
I don’t know why I kept
Running and running and running
and running and running away

See I like you but
Jessica, Jessica, Jessica I made a mistake
You wrote your number
on a letter and I threw it away

Created by the very talented Sean Solomon, the “Jessica WJ” music video is a cute, infectiously fun cartoon that captures the song and its sweetness. “Jessica WJ” is a no-frills outpouring of warmth, and the song’s cheery attitude and expressiveness come to life as we watch the titular character go through her brightly animated world, interacting with blond renderings of the Yudin brothers along the way.

A bubbling pop song full of passion and charm, “Jessica WJ” signals Cayucas’ strong return to the fore as they radiate light and move us to smile. The band’s third album Real Life is out April 19, 2019; for now, stream Cayucas’ exciting new music video exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

Stream: “Jessica WJ” – Cayucas

A CONVERSATION WITH CAYUCAS

Atwood Magazine: Cayucas, how do you hope to define this year for your band?

Cayucas: Hello, we are hoping to get back out there on the road, get our name out there again. We’ve been releasing music since 2012, this will be our 3rd album. So we’re excited that this is a ‘releasing an album year’ with new music and new stuff, and we hope people like it.

Cayucas: Well, after we finished touring the 2nd album we wrote a handful of songs over the course of like 6 months, which we decided to scrap. So we spent about 7-8 months trying to figure what direction to go musically. It was about 1 year to write, 1 year to record, 1 year to release.. it’s just a process — if you’re moving quickly, it can be done in 2 years. But it’s great to walk away for a minute and come back when you’re really inspired to write.

And babble on the microphone
A scorpion and a scorpio
I’m moonwalking like an Eskimo
Singing oh, oh, oh (yeah)
Surf was down and the surf was up
Her hair stood like it was lightning struck
I joined an Argentinian boxing club like
Whoa-o-o (yeah)

The songs “Jessica WJ,” “Skeleton Closet,” and “Winter of ‘98” serve as your re-introduction of sorts. Why are these songs special to you?

Cayucas: Those songs seemed ideal for re-introduction purposes. “Jessica WJ” and “Skeleton Closet” we thought had a good mix of old “cayucas vibes” and new, this way you help fans ease into the album which overall is a new sound.

“Jessica WJ” is especially catchy. How did this song come to be, and what does it mean to you now?

Cayucas: This song was one of the last to be written, we knew we wanted a fast uptempo drum and bass song towards the end of recording. I took the beat from one of our old songs “Cayucos” and put a new bass line on top. “Jessica WJ” was a lyric I had written but never used, so I slapped it on top and it fit. This song means a lot to us now, because people like it, it has put us back on people’s radar, and it ties in lyrically to some early Cayucas songs.

For me, this song has a fun kind of nostalgia. It’s sort of got that Vampire Weekend cheery, smart vibe going for it – that said, there’s so much going on here sonically. What inspired you on the production side to include all the sonic snippets that made their way into the soundscape?

Cayucas: Thanks! It started out as just a drumbeat looped and the bass line. I like looping, bass lines all the way through a song. Dennis Herring the producer actually added the whistle sound — which was my voice singing that melody on the chorus — which he ran through an octave pedal thingy. Made the song way better. We were pushing things production-wise; I’m really into pop production, and wanted to experiment with that throughout the whole album.

Downtime baby, there’s where we wanna go
I’ve got a map and roll down the window
She says “sick”, I say it’s beautiful
Shake, shake, shake
Whoa-oh-oh

What was your experience working with Sean Solomon on the video? How do you feel he captured the essence of this song?

Cayucas: Sean was great, he’s super talented. I think the song is supposed to just be fun, and we kind of knew we wanted to do an animated video for a long time. We had 0 notes for Sean: He did one edit and we all loved it. He really nailed it with the illustrations, the colors, and the overall vibe. It’s just fun. There’s always room for more fun music videos.

At the same time, videos always bring their own element to any experience. What surprises you about the music video; what’s a fun new element, in your mind, that this video adds to the overall experience of the song?

Cayucas: This video is all ages. I’m certain we’ll get a dm or two of kids dancing in the living room to it. Or a baby pointing at a TV screen. It’s a video you can watch again and again, mood enhancing.

Evil Knievel jumped the fire
Kept flying higher and higher
A human cannonball
His cape hung red, white, blue
Girl cries out “I’m down in love with you”
Now all that’s left is the fall
But the feeling doesn’t die

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Real Life - Cayucas

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com