Ears Wide Open: CUCO

CUCO (Photo by Herbert Guevara of Bad Wizard Films)
CUCO (Photo by Herbert Guevara of Bad Wizard Films)

CUCO makes affecting, vintage pop ballads as filtered through the hazy electronics of this era, and despite having played little more than backyard shows and having done little in the way of formal promotion, he’s racked up quite a following on Spotify, Soundcloud and Twitter. The artist behind the name is 18-year-old Omar Banos of Hawthorne (a city that has quite a pop heritage itself), who recently released the nine-track collection “Songs4u,” highlighted by the tunes “One and Only” and “Lava Lamp.” He debuted in 2016 with the seven-song “Wannabewithyou.” They showcase his synth-drenched, trippy psychedelia, and along with a new tune, “Mi Infinita,” released last week, his ability to sound lovelorn in both Spanish and English. He’s the kind of guy who used money from his online merch sales to buy his parents a dishwasher too, so what’s not to like?

||| Stream: “Lava Lamp,” “Mi Infinita” and “One and Only”

||| Also: Stream “Songs4u” in its entirety