Nehal Abuelata’s Sweet HayaH has found its groove with an improbable but upbeat blend of styles
Over the pulse of keyboards and drums is a high-pitched wail: half screeching and half soaring, just a little bit jazzy, and altogether beautiful. It’s the vocals of musician Linsey Olsen, a former Santa Cruzan, fronting for the live hip-hop group Joomanji.
If the Watergate Sandals surf-culture-meets-Nixon name isn’t enough to convince you they’re all about having fun, consider their cranked-up, frenetic mix of garage, surf and punk. Or how about the term they coined themselves to describe their genre: scooter rock.
It occurred to Good Neighbor Policy’s Chris and Pat (who only use their first names, like all good neighbors) that instead of hanging out and drinking beer, they could gather up some buddies and turn their drinking sessions into punk rock sessions. A Santa Cruz band was born that day, a little over a decade ago.