Cuco’s latest release proves something that many fans already know – the California singer is carrying the weight of a hometown tradition of sun-soaked sadness. Like The Beach Boys that cruised the same streets of Hawthorne, California long before Cuco was even a glimmer in his parents’ eye, the 20-year-old is making lo-fi tracks whose surfer drawl and split-level styling belie the complex emotions of darkness.
“Summer time is the time/I like to get high with you, it’s true,” go the lyrics of “Summertime Hightime,” which appeared on his Chiquito EP three months ago. The Mu$ty Boyz-directed video is almost as wholesome as a stoney summer day can be, a backyard party with cameos from a piñata, accordion, and a love interest made out of a comely 2×4 topped by a wig. A concerning plot twist at the end of the clip is rendered a joke — right? — with a kowtow to the importance of hydration. Will it really be all right if we drink water? Cuco’s team leaves us with the note of unresolved emergency shimmering in the air.
Cuco plays Lincoln Center’s Selena for Sanctuary on July 26. For more info, click here.