Nada Surf— Matthew Caws, Daniel Lorca, Ira Elliot, and their longtime friend and collaborator Louie Lino—have a new album out today, and with Never Not Together they continue pursuing their humanistic vision of the world through hooky rock songs with astute, yet tenderly felt lyrics. Whether sweeping guitar solos or lofi delicate vocals, the band continue to address some of what is going on within.
Based in New York City and having formed in the 1990s, this band oozes of experience and a certain sound we often see with the likes of Thurston Moore and Kirstin Hersh and various others. With the band name reflecting on an insular state of mind, existentially surfing on nothing, it would be unusual for Matthew Caws and band not to be reflective throughout their record. In 2017, the band celebrated the 15th anniversary of their 2002 breakthrough and critically-acclaimed Let Go, an experience that energized the early planning of Never Not Together. “I made pretty elaborate demos for the songs—something I’ve never done before,” says Caws. “I think [the Let Go tour] really boosted my work ethic and made me feel like I really had to go for it.”
So Much Love throws me back to The Dandy Warhols with that riff and those drums, with lyrics that is combating the bad with the good. Looking For You, opens with a spectral choir and forges into a rock spectacle with crashing strings and two guitar solos—one by Caws, the other by frequent Nada Surf collaborator Doug Gillard. The track is steeped in metaphors. Mathilda, meanwhile, shifts time signatures as it switches perspectives on a childhood as an outsider, exploring what “masculinity” meant even at a young age. Two great tracks on the album.
Just Wait also reflects on his youth and adolescence. With the tempo taken down a notch, this shimmering ballad is only dirtied by the fluid bassline. ” a shimmering midtempo song tethered to earth by a fluid bassline. Warm and uplifting, Just Wait is a life-affirming track that is impossible to tear yourself away from.
Recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales, where artists like Echo & the Bunnymen, the Flamin’ Groovies, Iggy Pop and Oasis recorded albums. as Caws wanted to explore the place he’d seen mentioned on many a record.
Empathetic, humane and reflective, Nada Surf have produced another brilliant album that will no doubt give them the same acclaim that the album Let Go offered them.
Never Not Together is out today, via City Slang Records