Cayetana - Nervous Like Me (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Nervous Like Me (2014)

Tiny Engines

Cayetana could not have picked a better bunch of songs for their debut LP. Nervous Like Me embodies many of the snippets we've seen from them in the past yet it proceeds to fully flesh out the band's direction holistically. In doing so, this record brings forth so much of Cayetana's musical character and emphasizes how driven they are. If you had high hopes for this album, consider yourself appeased. The all—female trio absolutely destroy it here, again showing why their indie—brand deserves big recognition.

In the realm of modern indie—punk, Cayetana definitely stamps their authority. This album will be on repeat for quite some time alongside another musically similar album, Baby Ghosts' Maybe Ghosts. The latter shunted Baby Ghosts to the top of my list in this genre but Cayetana;s Augusta Koch definitely takes the reins back. Her vocal prowess is hugely responsible for the dominating sound on offer and leaves a commanding presence in waves. The roads of nostalgia are explored in "Serious Things Are Stupid" — an indie—heavy sound that the band pulls off remarkably. "Dirty Laundry" is another item where they lean toward the indie side of the coin, which is a pretty neat contrast to the more punk—focused tunes a la "Black Hills". At this point they seem to be playing either indie or punk but not really letting the two dance together. It isn't a bad thing but it's quickly rectified, giving even more legs for the record to run with. And jeez, do they!

The tracks then ensue where they mix elements so perfectly. Fuzzy, lo—fi, distorted...yet a great blend. Koch's enunciation really powers over the instrumental genius of the band and stands out more on such tracks. It's bold, poppy and mainstream when it needs to be yet dirty and garage—esque when the time calls for it. She switches her tones up a lot to match with the varying tempos. This helps to cultivate that accessible sound and more so, one which feels free of boundaries. This lack of restriction is particularly felt at junctures where Koch's lyrics come off highly intimate and more personal than expected. The all—too—familiar "Mountain Kids" establishes this point well with its cracking drums and a prominent bassline that makes it one of my biggest tracks this year. In its hazy atmosphere, it's very comforting, reminding of how consistently good Cayetana's always been and more so, promised to be. Living up to this promise feels so fulfilling as a listener so it's hard to imagine how the band must feel. Nervous Like Me reeks of acclaim and it's one of those where the rave's well deserved. Just pop on "Scott Get The Van, I'm Moving" — another foot—tapping gem.

Inevitably, they pay just respect to their roots in the melodic "South Philly" to not only close out on a high, but to also remind the listener of Cayetana's trump card — their passion. It feels so real and not like some calculated risk. This ultimately enables the album to hold up as a brilliant full—length that could well be sneaking into year—end lists, sooner rather than later.