Keeping an ear out for Second Cousins

Keeping an ear out for Second Cousins
Pictured from left, members of the band Second Cousins: Austin Burns, Nolan Greene, Dillon Casey and Tim McNalley. Sounds in San Diego said they were one of the top 12 bands to keep an ear out for in 2014. Photo by Yeshe Salz

ENCINITAS — Homegrown indie-folk band Second Cousins seems to be on the path to success. Named one of the “Top 12 bands to keep an ear out for in 2014” by Sounds in San Diego, this up-and coming-band is, indeed, something to hear.

On Saturday, Second Cousins played at the grand opening for the Encinitas Community Center’s new art gallery.

“It’s funny because most bands wouldn’t play a gig like this,” said Dillon Casey, the band’s bassist. “They’re so caught up in the idea of playing their own shows. But we don’t mind… It’s just about sharing our music.”

Holding true to their “folk-acoustic” sound, Second Cousins keeps it organic by staying connected to their Encinitas roots, playing many local gigs astoundingly close to the places where they’ve all grown up.

Austin Burns, the band’s lead vocalist and guitar player, and Casey played their very first musical performances at the center.

Burns, Tim McNalley (guitar, vocals) and Casey all grew up in Encinitas. Nolan Greene (drums) grew up in Oceanside. Burns and McNalley attended high school at San Dieguito Academy and Casey went to La Costa Canyon.

Each musician left the nest to study music at various universities across the state and country, only to return back to Encinitas, where they converged to form Second Cousins in September 2012.

It’s no surprise Second Cousins is beginning to get noticed by the public.

The band’s music is original and unified in a sound coming from the cohesive dynamic of its players.

“It’s really good to have a group of people who have experience working as musicians, in addition to being creative musicians as well…We are all very capable of communicating ideas,” said McNalley.

They describe their sound as a “folk-root” sound, mixed with an acoustic/electric-blended style, fueled by strong songwriting.

Most of their songs are written by Burns who said the underlying theme of his writing reflects a “nostalgic feel” reminiscent of old Encinitas memories.

“It’s portraiture,” McNalley added.

Last summer, Second Cousins went on tour up the coast of California playing at various venues in San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Francisco.

In April, the band played their biggest gig yet at DIO Fest in Santa Cruz, which they plan to return to this year.

The band will be releasing their first official EP in the coming months, and may even do a second tour up the coast this summer.

The band has big plans.

With a new album on the rise and a number of local gigs always on the schedule, there are so many ways to keep an ear out for them.

When asked what their long-term goals are, the band simply said they want to keep growing and make music for people to hear. Especially now that they know people want to hear it.

“It’s really satisfying because the whole point is that music is not something that happens in isolation from other people, it’s a collaborative experience between listeners and audience members and musicians,” McNalley said. “And the music reflects that. So having people pay attention is a huge part of the process.”



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