Philadelphia trio Cayetana’s new album “New Kind of Normal” is full of intimate, charming details and interesting turns of phrase that beg the listener to look a little deeper – under the guitar jangle, driving rhythm and flowery basslines.
On “Mesa,” for instance, lyricist Augusta Koch sings: “Together we make flowers out of weeds/We dance in garbage instead of leaves.” It’s a beautiful image, but a curious one.
“That line reminds me of my sister and my childhood,” says Koch. “It’s about making the best out of a s----y situation and growing up kind of poor.”
The band plays Evening Muse on Saturday with Hemming and Alright.
Koch also reflects on a subject many shy away from – the mental illness that touched her family.
“I had a father who passed from mental illness. It’s been a theme in my life,” she says, although her songs are written so that even someone without that experience can relate. The new album is “not a ‘mental health’ record. The beauty of songs is people can take from them whatever they want. I’d never want to exclude anyone. Even if people don’t have a mental illness, mental health is such an important thing that isn’t recognized as an actual illness.”
Lyrically, Koch zeroes in on the uncertainty, and the self-acceptance that comes with becoming more confident and comfortable in your own skin.
It’s a theme Cayetana has explored since the band began; they shared a love of music, but little knowledge of their instruments.
“It felt more comfortable since none of us knew what we were doing,” says Koch. “When I’d tried (to start bands) in the past, it was very intimidating. We learned together. We practiced for eight months, maybe longer, before we played a show.”
While Cayetana doesn’t want gender to be the first thing people notice, she says, “It’s still important to see people that look like you doing anything.
“My first years of going to shows, I don’t think I saw any women playing.”
Seeing female rock bands like Those Darlins made her want to pick up a guitar and stop hording the lyrics she’d been writing for years.
“I’ve always been a big music fan. It was my only hobby or only thing I loved as a kid,” she says, in a September interview, shortly after Those Darlins’ Jessi Zazu, 28, died of cancer. “I would search high and low to find women that played music then. Seeing a band like Those Darlins play and thinking ‘These girls are so bad ass (was important). Now we play with women a lot.”
WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St.