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Mythical, Magical, Tacocat

I first heard of Seattle band Tacocat (read it backwards!) from friends up north. They said seeing the pop-punk group live was like sighting a mythical animal: a unicorn, or a cat actually made from tacos. 

Since releasing their debut Lost Time on Sub Pop subsidiary label Hardly Art, Tacocat’s profile has been steadily on the rise in the Northwest and beyond. And most talk surrounding the band still involves their live shows. 

Tacocat drummer Lelah Maupin calls her band’s electric on-stage chemistry a “je ne sais quoi” kind of thing, a phrase perfectly capturing the band’s sense of fun and frivolity, but also, she tells EW, a product of persistence. “We’ve been doing it for a really long time,” Maupin says. 

While Tacocat’s music is always infectious, there’s also a little punk rock nihilism underneath the driving power chords, upbeat tempos and sunshine-y harmonies — dispatches from a happy place where everyone pogos to The Go-Go’s in old Weezer Blue Album t-shirts. 

“Beautiful Seattle, fall into the sea,” sings charismatic, usually neon-color-haired vocalist Emily Nokes on the song “I Love Seattle,” continuing: “Earthquake, tsunami/There’s still no place I’d rather be.” 

And Tacocat’s sillier side shows up elsewhere with the tune “Dana Katherine Scully,” named after the TV detective heroine of the X-Files

Maupin says her band even has a bit of a Eugene connection. Bassist Bree McKenna spent a summer here and remembers it fondly. “Hopefully it’s the magical place that Bree remembers it to be,” Maupin says. 

Tacocat plays with Nashville’s Daddy Issues and Eugene’s VCR and Girls Punch Bears 7 pm Tuesday, Feb. 28, at The Boreal; $8 adv., $10 door. All-ages. — Will Kennedy