Amber Pop

Learning life lessons with Cayucas

As though preserved in amber, Real Life, the brand-new release from Los Angeles twin-brother duo Cayucas, captures and inhabits all those moments growing up that are both small and incredibly important: first love, first heartbreak and the early, geological tremors of sexuality. 

Common fodder in pop music, to be sure, but when you’re 18, you live and die for this stuff. 

You feel, on a cellular level, the euphoria turning to terror when, as Cayucas sing on the song “Jessica WJ,” a young boy scores a beautiful girl’s number, only to throw it away by accident. 

“I’m just waiting for my real life to begin,” Zach Yudin sings on the song “Real Life,” “wishing I could push fast-forward.” 

“I’ve said this before,” Yudin tells me over the phone from L.A. “I don’t like to write about the night of prom. I like to write about the night before, the little things that I remember that were special — a little left of center. Music is an escape. It’s not really realism. It’s escapism.” 

Yudin and his brother Ben, who plays guitar, form the central songwriting core of Cayucas. The brothers grew up playing sports, but when they discovered music — something they were really good at, Zach says — there was no looking back. 

Musically, Real Life is also captured in amber, but this time the color is sunshiny and buoyant. Yudin’s a big fan of mega-pop producers like Max Martin, he says. But there’s also plenty of — to again use his words — left-of-center, introverted Nordic pop like Miike Snow and Peter Bjorn and John. 

Not long after age 18, most of us realize life isn’t always about the moments Cayucas sing about, that the strawberries of youth give way to other delights. 

Nevertheless, we sometimes find ourselves missing even the painful experiences, as Yubin does when he sings “dreaming of a girl I used to know” in the song “Girl.” 

We miss those times because rarely, if ever, do we feel so electric and alive.

Cayucas bring their Real Life Tour to Eugene, 8 pm Thursday, June 27, at Sessions Music Lounge; $12 advance, $15 door.