Artist: Surfer Blood
Album: Tarot Classics EP
Label: Kanine Records
There definitely seems to be a trend these days with bands evolving the Surf/Psychedelic/ Beach Pop genre, if that’s even a thing. It’s amazing how without having to think about it much, one listen to Surfer Blood’s new EP Tarot Classics will tell you that it’s the in/ cool music of the day. The catchy reverb guitar licks and fuzzed out vocals are all the rage, so it’s just a matter of if you dig it, or if you’re sick of it. Surfer Blood’s debut Astro Coast was released with much acclaim last year, so they’ve smartly followed it up quickly with a 4 song EP to try and capitalize on their rise, so that they don’t become the next Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and just fade away.
The trick when writing upbeat guitar pop tunes is not just in the catchy riff, but with a very specific song writing drive that is both intelligent and surprising even if it sounds simple. Tarot Classics follows up with four songs that do just that, as their sound stays true to their debut but evolves on it. “I’m Not Ready” is a catchy song that is ready made to become a fan favourite with a toe tapping beat and smart vocal phrasing. The song that stood out the most for me though was “Voyager Reprise”, maybe because it speaks to my Astronomer heart as possibly one of the coolest achievements of art and science in the last century, but also because the band changes things up a bit by adding samples and horns to the their standard song arrangement. Plus if you don’t know anything about the Voyager probe, you should really look it up.
So if you if were a fan of Astro Coast, you’ll want to get this in your playlist right away and then be on the lookout for Surfer Blood to rock one of your local venues. If you immediately wrote them off as a Vampire Weekend knock off, I’d encourage you to give Tarot Classics a listen, as you may just find that they’re a little bit more than a flash in the pan.
Reviewed by: Michael Unger