We’ve fallen victim to the indie-pop hook before. Hummed that serenading melody. Taken shelter in those candid lyrics. And just when we thought Pavement and The Shins had quenched our thirst for feel-good tunes these past few decades, we now get newcomers Surfer Blood. Hailing from Florida, Surfer Blood deliver songs warm, drivey, punchy, cowbell-strewn and innocent. Singer/guitarist JP Pitts spins a post-pubescent, angsty voice around tight bass lines and garage-esque, low-fi guitar chugs. Their new album, Astro Coast, is a testament to nostalgia, delivered by the new youth.
Sound: It’s reassuring and steady like chunky chicken soup. Like Morrissey on Zoloft. Like Obama. “Swim” spells out the band’s mantra, while tunes like “Slow Jabroni” and “Harmonix” deviate to a slightly more experimental, secret dark side (albeit with a nightlight). It’s the kind of music you sing while lacing up your sneakers. Reflective. Dancy. Likable. The stuff that gets you through a Monday just as well as a Friday night.
Stage Presence: Earth-colored threads bob up and down onstage, while cowbell percussion brings the fun on a side stage. Girls hopped up on vodka-cranberry take the casual hip-shake to its sexiest. Pale red, blue and green lights dimly illuminate the band. There is lots of hair and innocence onstage, while merch-shirt sharks and major audience participation keep the energy on the floor high. —Jeff Joyce
Listen to Surfer Blood…
…while driving home in dry, crisp air after a dusk surf.
…while brewing chai tea before the girls arrive for the afternoon.
…while sitting on your roof, waiting for fireworks.
…while spreading Vicks VapoRub on your chest and breathing deeply.
…while wearing a comfortable wool sweater and wrapping her up in your arms.