Nada Surf Hears Its Future in the ‘Stars’
Sixteen years after releasing their debut album — and approximately 15 years after most people thought they could safely be written off as a ’90s buzz bin one-hit wonder — Nada Surf is still going strong. In fact, the band’s recently released seventh LP, ‘Stars are Indifferent to Astronomy,’ has earned some of the strongest critical praise of their career.
Nada Surf’s unlikely path was retraced in a recent Seattle Times feature, from its 1996 hit ‘Popular’ to its label’s decision to sever ties before even releasing a follow-up to its debut album, ‘High/Low.’ As the article notes, the band is far from the first to suffer a crushing career blow in the wake of unexpected early success — but unlike most, they soldiered on. As guitarist and lead singer Matthew Caws quipped in the story, “Fear of having to choose another career kept us together.”
Looking back on a musical journey that has taken them from distortion-laced ’90s alt-pop to a sharper, more overtly tuneful sound, Caws reflected, “We’re really lucky. We were written off. Though we certainly didn’t mean to be, we then got to be underdogs, a position I’m really fond of.
“We’ve overcome and stayed alive,” continued Caws. “This isn’t supposed to happen. It’s certainly not supposed to happen doing things exactly the way you want and writing exactly the songs you want to.”
‘The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy,’ which follows 2010′s covers album ‘If I Had a Hi-Fi’ and breaks a four-year drought of original material, was released January 24 under the band’s deal with Seattle’s Barsuk Records. You can stream the full-length LP courtesy of Paste Magazine at this link — and you can also stream their new acoustic EP, ‘The Dulcitone Files.’