I’m dead convinced that growing up in the 1990’s was a massive privilege. It was the golden decade for the rock music on both sides of the Atlantic. I could witness with my own eyes bands such as Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, REM, Sonic Youth, Pixies, No Doubt (in the US) and Manics, Blur, Oasis, The Stone Roses in the UK rewriting history of contemporary music. Listening to Z-Rock Top 40 (live from the States) in the dead of the night, gave me a better, deeper understanding of the popular culture and shaped my musical taste. It also taught me to look at the alternative circuit, outside of the main charts to recognize less commercially successful but truly innovative bands. And in 1996, I came to know Nada Surf, then straight out of college and on their first tour with Superdrag, promoting their debut album “High/Low”. Their track “Popular” came into heavy rotation on MTV, became an anthem of the summer and had me irreversibly and utterly fell in love with their sound.
24 years later, Nada Surf are still going strong. Now on their ninth album (LP “Never Not Together” is due on February 7th via City Slang) they are releasing their latest single “So Much Love”. And it brings me back to a simpler, more friendlier era, when music was uniting not dividing. Where despite troubles, you still had a bit of hope for a better tomorrow.
There is more to “So Much Love” than meets the eye. It is easy to classify it as a power pop, mid tempo song with “airy” guitars, piano and pretty harmonies. It takes time to notice elements from alternative folk genre in the real The Jayhawks fashion which is always a massive compliment in my book. There is a hint of Better Than Ezra and Collective Soul, and a bit of indie kick a la Everclear. Yet, this is not a nostalgia trip. “So Much Love” comes with a modern beat, a very timely message and a crisp A.D. 2020 production that should take this track to the top of the indie charts.
If you have never heard of Nada Surf before, it’s time to fill the gaps in your musical education. Pre-order the new album and off you go Youtubing (is that even a real word?) to familiarize yourself with their back catalogue. The band is coming to Europe for a massive, 40 date tour and I’m expecting to see you all at their shows in March, standing in the first rows, singing along.
And what’s more important, in desperate times like this, “So Much Love” will help you fall in love with the world. Again.