Nada Surf – New Propeller

2nd July 2024 · 2020s, 2024, Music

After 31 years together Nada Surf stick to their recipe of jangly guitars and vocal harmonies on this tune from their forthcoming 10th album Moon Mirror.

I discovered Nada Surf about 15 years ago, performing at the now-demolished 12 Bar Club on a winter night with the London streets piled high with snow.

I was warmed by their summery melodies and warm harmonies, which brought a blast of sunshine into the cave-like venue even on such a bitter night.

The next day, wearing my big Russian fur hat to keep out the cold, I set off again to sit down and chat to singer Matthew Caws about his life and times with the band.

I found Matt, who now lives in Cambridge, to be a fascinating and erudite fellow who passed on a particularly memorable piece of pop trivia: when he was 14 he played Stairway To Heaven on his guitar to Jacques Derrida; presumably in a deconstructed version.

(Long story short: his parents, professors of philosophy and comparative literature respectively, were friends with the French philosopher).

Anyway, Nada Surf, who began in Brooklyn as a fusion of Sonic Youth and Pavement (at least that was the idea), ended up playing jangly harmony-drenched power-pop more like Crowded House.

Their blend of melancholy songs with upbeat tunes always seems to raise my spirits: listening to this new tune is the aural equivalent of relaxing in a hot bath filled with soothing aromatherapy oils; or lazing on a beach with a cool sea breeze taking the edge off a burning sun.

The lazy jangle of that Byrds-like guitar, the warm rumble of the bass, the gentle momentum of the drums – but most of all Matthew Caws’s yearning voice and the warm embrace of those vocal harmonies. All present and correct, taking me to a happy place in the sun.