Cafuné: NYC-Based Duo Blending Indie Pop, R&B, and Electronic Music for a Nostalgic and Fresh Sound Thoughts+Photos: Cafuné at Cheer Up Charlies During SXSW 3/14/23
AUSTIN, TX- I arrived a little early to Cheer Up Charlies so I was able to catch a few bands that weren’t originally on my list of bands to catch during SXSW. One of which was Cafuné (pronounced kah-foo-nay), and as I spied who was on stage, the asian guitarist caught my attention. For some reason he looked really familiar to me. It took me a few weeks, and some googling, but I remembered him as they were a few student at the Clive Davis Institute who had the opportunity to have their music critique by Pharrell Williams at a Master Class. I knew he looked familiar!
Cafuné consists of multi-instrumentalists Sedona Schat and Noah Yoo, who blend elements of indie pop, R&B, and electronic music to create a sound that’s both nostalgic and fresh. Digging into their catalog after SXSW, I learned that their songs explore themes of love, heartbreak, and self-discovery, with lyrics that are both poetic and relatable. It’s that unique blend of different genres and styles… often times layered with lush and dreamy instrumentation…combined with their introspective lyrics and emotionally rich performances that really resonated with me. Add to that Sedona soulfully soothing vocals, and they are able to really convey a sense of emotional depth to their lyrics.
Their latest release, the single “Perspective”, really highlights this, blending together pop chord progressions and an indie-rock sound, using autotune in a subtle way to give Sedona’s vocals, and the song, a real dream quality. The lyrics of the song explore the complexities of changing relationships, where someone who was once a significant part of your life becomes a stranger seemingly overnight. The band has explained explained that the inspiration for the song came from their personal experiences with the death of relationships and the feeling of disorientation that can come with moving on from someone who used to mean everything to you.