Nada Surf @ Botanique
In high school, Matthew and Daniel discovered a mutual penchant for the rock. So they decided to play it. After a few short-lived bands, the two eventually formed a trio, calling themselves Nada Surf. They played around NYC and released a single on a friend’s label, which landed them a deal with a Spanish record company. The ensuing album, however, was never released. Around this time, Nada’s original drummer split, and the boys drafted Ira (they’d seen him play in the Fuzztones, NYC’s premiere garage-rock revivalists, and were smitten by his skill, charm, and stylish chapeau). Then things started happening. In the fall of ’95, the boys released the Karmic EP on No. 6 records, hooked up with Elektra, and met Ric Ocasek, who produced their debut LP, High/Low, released in 1996. The video for "Popular," from which Matthew inherited a nice suit, was played quite a bit on MTV, and the record sold nicely. So they made another. Too bad you probably never heard it, unless you live in Europe…
Here’s why: Nada Surf recorded The Proximity Effect in 1998 with Fred Maher (Luna, Lou Reed, Matthew Sweet). It was a mighty fine record. Elektra, claiming they "didn’t hear a single," asked the band to go back in the studio to hunt for one. As this was months after they’d handed the record in, the band refused and were dropped. It’s pretty safe to say, though, that Elektra didn’t appear to be "listening" very hard. The Proximity Effect was released as scheduled in Europe. Critics loved it and fans bought it. Elektra still didn’t care, but the band still did. So after wrestling the rights back, Nada Surf released The Proximity Effect stateside in 2000 on their own label, MarDev Records, and toured accordingly,
So there. Now here’s to letting go.
Nada Surf recorded their forthcoming LP, Let Go, in Los Angeles in 2001. The album was produced by Chris Fudurich (who engineered The Proximity Effect) and mastered by Howie Weinberg (Nirvana, The Clash). Fudurich shared mixing duties with by Bryce Goggin, Death Cab For Cutie’s Chris Walla, Louie Lino, and Juan Garcia. It is, without a doubt, their best. On Let Go, Nada Surf channels all the bands they grew up with (The Modern Lovers, Big Star, New Order, etc.), as well as their like-minded peers (Flaming Lips, Guided by Voices, Frank Black, Teenage Fanclub, etc.)—taking everything they love about rock, and everything they love about pop, and playing it their way. Not afraid to be a little dark, to want to fall in love, to admit they’ve got problems, to show their bruises, to make things danceable, to sing about fruit flies, or, most importantly, to make a record that answers to no one but themselves. Nada Surf has learned a lot over the years. That’s what makes them good. What makes them great, though, is what they’ve known all along. Let Go will be released on Heavenly in the U.K., and Labels in Europe this Autumn
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