"California Waiting" is the fourth single taken from the Youth and Young Manhood album by the American rock band Kings of Leon. An alternate version of the song appears on their debut release, the EPHoly Roller Novocaine. This version was recorded in a rush to finish the record. The band didn't like the outcome, so they recorded a new version, which is found on Youth and Young Manhood. However, on Kings of Leon's VH1 Storytellers performance, Caleb Followill stated before playing California Waiting that "We kind of sabotaged it on our album, and tried to play it really punk rock. It was better on the EP I think."
Caleb Followill’s vocals sound honestly pained and his longing for something greener – California – is a timeless theme that resurrects the left coast as a magnet for dreamers and schemers. Where do you go when “every little thing’s gotta be just right”? Mythical California. That tradition runs deep in the American psyche, interrupted occasionally by songs like the apocalyptic “Hotel California.”