Nada Surf

Nada Surf

Eternal Summers

Tue, December 11

7:00 pm

9:30 Club

Washington, DC

$22

Nada Surf - (Set time: 9:30 PM)
Nada Surf


Having recorded five albums in ten years and toured extensively in support of all of them, Nada Surf — singer/guitarist Matthew Caws, bassist Daniel Lorca, drummer Ira Elliot and guitarist Doug Gillard (now official fourth member, more on that later) — opted to follow 2012’s cracking The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy with a brief but well-earned hiatus.

So in January 2015, when Caws informed Nada Surf’s vociferous Facebook following that a new record was just about done, the news was greeted with explosive enthusiasm. The music was in the can, he announced, and all that remained was to finish up a few lyrics and sing a few vocals; something he planned to do on off-days off during an upcoming solo acoustic tour. Caws even included a photo of the recording set-up he was bringing in the car.

“I was so eager to have an album done that I believed in it as it was,” Caws recalls. “But the great thing about being 'finished' is that you can take a breath and evaluate, because the pressure to 'do it' is gone. The more I listened and thought about it, the more I realized that I might want to keep working. Also, I'd sent the tracks to my friend Josh, who runs Barsuk Records, the label we’ve been on since 2002, and he said 'It's great,' but followed that with a pregnant pause. I got the message. I didn't take that as a critique as much as a belief that I could do better. It was very freeing,” Caws continues. “There were already a bunch of songs in the can that we all liked, so I could think more expansively about what the album could be."

Caws’ instinct to heed his inner editorial voice proved to be spot on: he dropped a few songs, tweaked others, and wrote a few more that, “definitely feel different from what we’ve done before,” he says. “Believe You’re Mine” was rejiggered and sped up, while “Cold To See Clear” – originally penned for a collaboration to be named later with Michael Lerner of Telekinesis – was deemed a better fit for Nada Surf. Just before starting You Know Who You Are, Caws had gone to Los Angeles to write with Dan Wilson, who in addition to his success with Semisonic, has won two Grammy Awards for his songs with Adele and the Dixie Chicks. They weren't writing for anyone in particular, they just wanted to see what would happen. Caws felt so good about “Rushing” and “Victory's Yours," that he asked Wilson if he could include them on the new Nada Surf album. Wilson gave the green light, and even offered to contribute backing vocals. When the band returned to Hoboken, NJ for another round of sessions with producer/guitarist Tom Beaujour (Jennifer O'Connor, Amy Bezunartea), the songs were tracked.

And lo and behold, what would have been another really good Nada Surf album (their seventh since getting signed to a major in the go-go 90's and scoring a worldwide alterna-hit with “Popular”) became what could well be the most representative collection of the group’s two-decade career, all while pushing towards whatever comes next. While the band has always had a surplus of horsepower for velocity rockers and an astounding level of confidence live, they've been gaining the discipline and finesses to change gears, more so with each release. Captured in the album’s 10 tracks is every beloved facet of the band, but You Know Who You Are also finds much on offer that stands apart from anything previously heard in the band’s diverse catalog. “Animal” is a stream-of-consciousness Dylan-by-way-of-the-Stones existential love song, while “Gold Sounds” somehow manages to be equal parts Krautrock and folk rock. The latter track had its genesis in a South By Southwest queue as Caws made small talk with a fellow gig-goer who turned out to be General Manager at St. Louis’ independent, non-commercial KDHX. Caws was standing with sometime touring Nada Surf keyboard player and occasional mixing collaborator Louie Lino, now running Resonate Studio in Austin. "Maybe we should make you a jingle,” Caws suggested.

“If you do, we’ll play the shit out it!”

Unable to resist the challenge, Caws and Lino banged out a classic radio theme song for KDHX Program Director Chris Bay’s weekly “Gold Soundz” broadcast. The tune snuck into band practice and then morphed at the Nuthouse from a 30-second ditty into something else altogether, thanks in large part to Elliot's hypnotic beat and the “wild twinkly magic” contributed by Gillard. "I still don't understand how he did that," Caws says. "It’s like Zeppelin flutes played by a unicorn." “Gold Sounds” serves as an ideal reminder if one is required that Caws might be the tunesmith and man up front, but Nada Surf is now and has always been very much a band.

“I may write the songs," Caws says, "but we put them together together.”

Some of the new sonic diversity must be due to Gillard's ever-growing presence, touring with the band since 2010, but a newly official fourth member. While he recorded a lot of overdubs on the last two albums, this time Doug was involved from the first practices onward. Known for his vaunted chops and keen melodic sense, honed as a member of such iconic Ohio outfits as Guided By Voices, Death of Samantha, and Cobra Verde, Gillard adds spark, heft and heightened interplay to Caws’ personal, prismatic songcraft, making a sound that was already melody-rich and hook-filled even richer.

After taking a detour with 2013's Minor Alps collaboration with Juliana Hatfield, his first after thirty years of writing songs, Caws has returned as a writer more willing than ever to follow wherever his gut takes him. Nada Surf are chasing their own worlds, their own kind of connections with listeners. “Sometimes it feels like, to our audience at least, we are two or three different bands at once,” Caws concludes. “It seems some people are looking to feel better, for encouragement getting over their obstacles, for help figuring life out… not that I've done that myself, other people are looking for love songs, and then some others just want to rock.”

You know who you are… Before, Nada Surf albums simply took on the character of the songs that the band came up with at the time. This one was different — there was a plan. "We've always played faster and a little harder live," Caws says, "but we'd play so carefully in the studio. So with this album, we made a conscious decision to preserve what it felt like in the practice room, when you play with that new-song energy. Just embrace it and not worry whether we’re overdoing it, kind of get all the thinking out of the way."


The stars has a somewhat more optimistic, more outward-looking tone than previous Nada Surf albums. On the yearning waiting for something, Caws sings, "This new peace/ I can feel it now," and that serenity — and not anger — is actually what fueled the music's extra kick.


The stars are indifferent to astronomy continues the notion of music as an alternative reality, and songs as things you can keep by your side for inspiration and support. Which is what makes Nada Surf a truly beloved band.
Eternal Summers - (Set time: 8:10 PM)
Eternal Summers
Virginia based duo Eternal Summers has collected all their early EP, 7 inch, and cover recordings to put forth one reissue under the name The Dawn of Eternal Summers to be released on Record Store Day (April 21st) via Kanine Records.

For the first time these twelve tracks will be released in digital format and available on all digital services. If you crave the physical product, colored vinyl with download code, head on down to your local shop on April 21st to snag a limited edition. The B side contains three cover songs not available on the digital version: Into Your Arms (as made famous by the Lemonheads), A Salty Salute (Guided by Voices) and Down to the Wire (Neil Young).

Roanoke, VA based duo, Nicole Yun and Daniel Cundiff received early praise from Pitchfork, Fader and Gorilla Vs Bear. And in the fall of 2010, Nicole Yun and Daniel Cundiff released their debut album Silver via Brooklyn based indie Kanine and followed up with the Prisoner EP (Forest Family/Kanine) in the spring of 2011. While consistently releasing music gaining praise from Spin, Filter, Under the Radar and more, Eternal Summers also completed several US tours with the likes of The Beets, The Raveonettes, and Reading Rainbow building their name the old fashioned way. These tours allowed them to play around with the idea of adding a bassist, having tried out several on the road.

Having found the right fit with bassist Jonathan Woods, Eternal Summers, now officially a trio, used the second half of 2011 to record their sophomore LP. Recorded at home in the Mystic Fortress, but for the first time allowing input from outside their inner circle, Correct Behavior was mixed by Sune Rose Wagner (The Ravonettes) and Alonzo Vargas. The album is a sonic leap forward, and it is being readied for release in June with further details to be announced shortly.
Venue Information:
9:30 Club
815 V St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001
http://930.com