Thursday, May 18, 2017

Cayetana -- New Kind of Normal

When Cayetana's first album, Nervous Like Me, came out, it was the calling card of a bold, scrappy band. But three years bring a lot of change and upheaval. Like the rest of us, Cayetana did not leave their early 20s unscathed. New Kind of Normal is darker and richer -- a more complex music for a more mature band. It's also an extremely tough listen, as it chronicles the ups and downs (mostly) of struggling with depression.


It viscerally hurts me to listen to lyrics like the chorus of "Grumpy's,"

is that your friend or your drinking buddy?
your first call, or the understudy?
was i your friend or your drinking buddy?
your first call, or the understudy?
you’ve some real good friends on the weekends
i’ve got some real good friends on the weekends
and then they’re gone


I'm glad I can now look back, albeit uncomfortably, on the days when I felt so isolated that I felt insecure in my friendships, convinced that everyone was just a good-time charlie and didn't actually care about me. On the other hand, there are shining points on the album that hint at the narrator's eventual climb to stability:

it’s not the fall that radicalized me
it’s what happened when i hit the ground

but this is the new me
and i won’t apologize
yeah, this is the new me
and i hope that you realize
that i was born strong, like the ones that made me
and i was made tough, like the one that raised me 


If Cayetana has grown in terms of their lyrics, they also have in their musicality. Songs shift tempo abruptly and Allegra Anka's rolling, lyrical bass has promoted her to my pantheon of favorite bassists. Steel your heart and then get ready to bust it open for one of the finest albums this year.




Cayetana -- Official, Facebook, Bandcamp

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