Throughout my various twists and turns as a music fan, there have always been a handful of bands that have remained staples in my listening rotation, and Nada Surf has always been one such act. Today they announce that they’re back with a brand new album, and the opening single has that melodic guitar buzz that’s been there going on 30 years; it’s balanced by Matthew’s voice, giving the song that emotive softness. They do switch it up to offer a spoken word moment at the song’s forefront just before the 2 minute mark; it offers the band’s critique on the state of the world and how we can participate to make it better for all of us. Hooks and a message? Never Not Together is out on February 7th via Barsuk.
Sometime in 1996, I bought the first Nada Surf LP. Yes, I bought it for that one song. But, unbeknownst to me, it was the start of my love affair with the band.
But, admittedly, I wouldn’t fall in love with the group until 2003, with the quiet release of Let Go. Notable releases from the same year included Echoes by the Rapture and Meadowlands by the Wrens (among countless others). Somehow, this LP has always stuck by me; of every record released in 2003 it’s the one I still listen to the most (with Ted Leo and the Wrens right behind). It was the perfect pop album, coming at the perfect time in my life.
Saturday night, Nada Surf brought that entire album to life. Surprisingly, I still know every single word to that album, and I sang along throughout the entirety of the first set, other than La Pour Ca (I don’t speak French). Personal favorites like “Blonde on Blonde” sounded as crisp as ever, and I was reminded just how much I love “Killian’s Red.” It’s funny, the ominous tones of that track never quite clicked as much as they did beneath the fog machine and blue lighting of 3Ten. Still, the band went through it in a business-like fashion, never missing a beat, with a few moments of charm added in like Ira and Daniel sharing a mic to open with Blizzard of 77′ backing vocals.
The latter half of the set was filled to the brim with countless numbers from the band’s past and present, even throwing in a Joy Division medley for a moment to charm the audience. And when they ended the evening, it never really ended, as they took it all out to the streets for a late evening serenade. Pretty sure every one left the evening reflective and pleased.
And for what its worth, my night ended with me feeling grateful for all the pop bands still hanging in out there. Nada Surf may never have gotten the critical acclaim, but they just kept writing great songs. They’re still here writing, whilst trends and hip acts have faded away. And as for Saturday night, they gave us a little of it all, reminding me of a never-ending love affair that began in 1996 at the Best Buy near my house.
I’m an avid fan of Nada Surf; they’ve always found some way to connect with me personally. For me, Let Go, is my personal favorite…so it’s great to see others take notice by covering all the songs on the LP for a charity of release titled Standing at the Gates: The Songs of Nada Surf’s Let Go. There’s some heavy hitters on the list like Aimee Mann and Rogue Wave, but today we get to share with you this Ron Gallo version of standout track “Happy Kid.” It begins slowly, but takes on the song’s true spirit once it bursts forth just before the 1 minute mark. This LP will see a release on February 2nd, but don’t forget the group will also be touring the whole of the US playing Let Go in its entirety!
You’ve all been waiting, anxiously. Waiting for our arbitrary list of the opinion of four folks who run this site, and what we think were the best albums of 2016. It’s really really important. We’re going to make our site great again with this list. We’re going to win, bigly. But really, it’s just a list of the stuff we loved the most that we covered throughout this year on our site. The comment section is open, so feel free to tell us where we’ve gone wrong or what we’ve got right or anything else fitting. Read more
I’ve been a big fan of Scooterbabe since I stumbled across the group via an Athens connection. Recently, the band have begun ramping up their activity with the exciting news thattheir debut album, The Sorrow You’ve Been Toting Around, will be out on the November 4th. This new song peels away a bit of the indiepop influences to reveal a little bit of the late 90s Built to Spill and Nada Surf, which are huge moments in my personal listening experience…so of course I’m stoked on it. In a world where it seems like everyone is looking at revisionist music, this is possibly the most enchanting bit I’ve found. Pick up the record from Perfect Attendance and Jigsaw Records.
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Soliti Music in Finland always passes on the best hits to us from overseas, but I had no idea they had this beautiful new Delay Trees tune in wait. The group are readying their album Let Go for everyone, so why not give the world this track. It’s as if they were telling all the fans of soft power-pop, akin to Nada Surf, that all your dreams and wishes would be fulfilled. The melody here is spectacular, and the subdued vocals fit into the churning guitars in such a way that they seem to swirl inside your head. We’ll keep you posted on the release, but in the meantime, lose yourself in this delectable hump day treat.
Somewhere along the lines of running this blog I stumbled onto Frail, excited by the band’s blend of pop structures and punk tinge. Admittedly, they’re like the heavier version of Nada Surf, bringing in a great sense of melody, though with a quicker pace. Plus, the songs are rather short and infectious, making them perfect for repeated listens throughout your day. Sugar Heaven just popped up yesterday, so you’ve got plenty of time to absorb the hits before your friends catch on to how cool you truly are, so give ita long listen.
I was allowed to kick off my holiday weekend with some fun show bidness. After morning rain, a cold front blew through to give us a nice evening and I had spots to go take in Nada Surf at The Parish. When I have several separate circles of friends at the show, it warms your humidity-laden heart.
Click through. I have plenty of pics from the night and a few thoughts including some on the openers, The Misteries.
You’ve got to know that when Nada Surf gives you their seal of approval to take you on tour, I’m going to take notice, and luck I did. Bird of Youth have a little more bounce than your average power-pop act, but that just makes their level of infectiousness all the more appealing. The vocals have this great pristine quality, though you can also feel a sense of longing in their delivery. This is one of the most delightful tracks I’ve come across in weeks; I want to play it again and again. They just announced Get Off, which will be released on May 20th via Kiam Records.
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With former members of the Obits and Holy Fuck you might be led to think of this song in a certain genre, but what really got me was how SAVAKlook back at great British pub rock; you’ll definitely hear some of that influence lurking in this single. It’s an old sound, revamped to fit into the modern landscape, landing somewhere between Nada Surf and Ted Leo. Their debut album, Best of Luck in Future Endeavors, will be released on May 27th, with a handful of SXSW shows also thrown in the mix for those attending the fest.
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