Indie pop darlings Nada Surf release a live EP that manages to capture all of the electricity of the actual concert. For extra oomph, the ENTIRETY of the show is on Youtube, which I had to check out after hearing the album; the EP contains the highlights. It has but 6 tracks: Whose Authority, Jules and Jim, When I was Young, High Speed Soul, See These Bones, and Always Love, recorded January 24th of this year to celebrate the release of their latest studio album The Stars are Indifferent to Astronomy.
Nada Surf is one of those names that rings a bell in many people’s heads, but you can’t think of one of their songs right away. They’re a band you just keep turning up slowly, until it’s up as high as it can go. It’s infectious pop that never gets too cheesy, like if The Shins grew up in Southern California.
It was great to hear some songs that I a) hadn’t heard in years, and b) didn’t realize Nada Surf wrote them. The solo in “When I was Young” shreds enough but not so much that it strays from the chillwave motif the band is known for. A highlight of the record is “High Speed Soul”, a break from the norm. “See These Bones” had me singing along with the chorus, and “Always Love” made me feel like I was at a high school party again.
Live music is always an experience, whether it’s the first show of the Next Big Thing (“I saw them in a dive bar before they made it!”), or the climax of a lifelong devotion to the band. There’s a certain energy that is rarely replicated through your headphones, but Nada Surf, thanks to their understated form of rock, maintain the intimacy of a small club while still making you want to jump up and down in public.
Watch the Youtube video, if only for the brilliant washed out cover of a famous English track (no hints as to what it is) and a full show of some classics.
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