Stand Back: These Los Angeles Bands Are About to Blow Up
Cayucas: Cayucas' summery indie pop makes you feel like grabbing an umbrella drink, a bikini and a plot of beach. Formerly known as Oregon Bike Trails, Cayucas is the project of Santa Monica native Zach Yudin, who wrote the songs in his bedroom. His
Kan Wakan: Kan Wakan's single "Forever Found" was playing on KCRW before they even stepped on the El Rey stage in October for their first show. The track features a lush swath of strings, and vocalist Kristianne Bautista's low, soulful voice over the sexy bass line. Kan Wakan is the brainchild of composer Gueorgui Linev, who, after playing in bands around L.A. for many years, was looking for a classical, minimalist project. After gathering musicians from all over town, Linev finally put together his dream lineup, and Peter Potyondy, Bautista, Randy Wagner, Ian Anderson and Dannon Rampton began recording last July.
Originally known as Oren Lyons, the group was named for the Native American activist, but changed monikers when Mr. Lyons took exception. (Kan Wakan is Lakota for "sundance.") After only two shows and two small West Coast tours, the Silver Lake group has managed to stir up enough excitement to win management, a booking agent and a publishing deal. They're now working on their debut album, out in the spring, and have an Echo residency in February.
Pangea: There are so many young garage bands in Southern California, and most of them are not particularly good. But every now and then one stands out in the crowd of greasy haircuts and stained, vintage T-shirts. Enter Lincoln Heights-based Pangea, who have offered up cheeky garage rock on their latest EP, Killer Dreams. The work ranges from straight-up punk ("Plasma") to folk-tinged ("Love and Alcohol") to upbeat pop ("River") and, finally, the sludgy, grungy "Killer Dreams."
The group is the brainchild of William Keegan, 27, who began making music as a teenager on a four-track tape machine. In 2008 the band took shape and began playing house parties in the Santa Clarita Valley. The band has been showing up all over town since then, releasing Jelly Jam on Lost Tapes and Living Dummy on Burger Records. 2013 could be when things get really interesting for the band, however: After he caught their show in March, Ryan Adams signed on to produce their upcoming EP, Badillac. It will be released on his label, PAXAM, and it will be interesting to hear what the band sounds like with a little polish.