Picture yourself lying on a sun kissed golden beach, a warm caressing breeze and similar thoughts coaxing the body whilst a tall glass of your favourite cold liquid manna satisfies the heat inside. The only thing left once the shades are applied is to find something to seduce the ears. That is where The Cabana Kids and their tantalising EP, The Birds & The Bees, is a forceful suggestion. The five song release is an indie pop /surf rock moulded captivation, a gentle yet imposing persuasion which swiftly suggests that this is a band with the potential to excite and thrill on a global scale.
The Cabana Kids is a New York based sextet which has been stirring up a buzz locally and further afield with their aural charm offensive enthrallingly masquerading as songs. This has led to an eager anticipation for the band’s first EP, no doubt egged on by the band’s recent acclaimed debut single Just Let Me Know. The song gave all the hints and temptation needed to spark an excited wait for The Birds & The Bees, something the Small Plates Records released EP rewards with its riveting and bewitching presence. Unveiling songs seeded in all matters of the heart, the release is a lingering evocative flight of melodies and harmonies aligned to pungent rhythms, not an instant raging fire for the passions but a smouldering proposition which hangs around tempting away far longer than most intensive blazes.
Before we start note that we are going by the song order on the promo sent through to us but it has been hinted that might have changed since. Anyway here the EP opens with Mexico, a song which initially wrong foots with its vintage croon of keys. Like the organ music which used to open up theatre and cinema shows back in the old days, so my Dad told me, the song’s entrance has a nostalgic breath which is swiftly intriguing whilst stopping thoughts in their tracks. It is a clever introduction which is only enhanced as the voice of Hannah Morris adds her emotive, again old school effected tones to the increasingly potent tempting. Acoustic guitars and gentle beats link up soon after, as well as a sultry melodic electrified twang and the strong voice of Joseph Lee for a country-esque, sixties surf balladry brought on a swaying gait. There is no escaping the delicious retro feel of the song, with the dual vocals, as proven time and again in the subsequent tracks, a striking and pleasing texture but only one in many provocative layers within each individual recipe.
The more energetic and equally magnetic You and Me steps in next, its stroll still relaxed and reserved but with a small swagger to the rhythms and dual vocals so it bounces along with a virulent catchiness. Keys and guitars radiate sparking designs of inventive and colourful enterprise whilst the slightly darker tones of the song bubble nicely through the pulsating bass and accompanying beats. It is the vocals though which steal the show, the vivacity and smile from both sides a hug to bask in whilst dipping imaginations feet into the melodic waters around them.
The bands single Just Let Me Know lifts its rhythmic and energetic feet a little higher again, its inviting canter wrapped in expressive hues of guitar whilst Lee adds a fifties tone and resonance to the emerging treat. Taking a breath the song breaks into a hot wind of surf and indie rock contagion, thoughts of Morningwood and Two Wounded Birds creeping forward as the song further blossoms into an enthralling flame of rock pop. It is very easy to see why the song alone sparked the attention and interest in the band and The Birds & The Bees, the glorious incitement just rock ‘n’ roll in its purest melodic form.
New single Oh Lorelei is set to be received in the same feverish manner as its predecessor you can only suspect, just as the EP ultimately one assumes. The song is a gripping weave of fifties and modern ingenuity. At some points it enchants with a Bobby Rydell like tempting, in others with a Surf City spiced revelry and all aligned to a whiff of The Strokes through the song. It mounts up though to something unique and fascinating and another gripping highlight.
The EP ends with the dreamier presence of Sortida, a tender glaze of sound which takes on a new persona and addictiveness through an infectious thumping and the siren-esque harmonies of Morris which embrace the senses with beguiling radiance. The darkest song on the release but also a beacon of sonic and vocal beauty, it is a scintillating close to a mesmeric encounter.
Though still early steps, The Birds & The Bees easily suggests that The Cabana Kids has the potential and invention to make a big statement in surf and melodic rock over coming horizons, a thought hard to contain the excitement over thanks to their excellent EP.
The Birds & The Bees EP is available now via Small Plates Records @ http://smallplates.bigcartel.com/product/the-cabana-kids-the-birds-the-bees
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