Surfer Blood – Snowdonia

Snowdonia is the 4th album from Floridian band Surfer Blood, and is a welcome addition to their jangly, surfer-rock inspired discography. Snowdonia is an album that is perfect for any summer road trip, and as we come into autumn and winter, serves as a reminder of what summer feels like. Snowdonia follows on from 2015’s 1000 Palms, and is the band’s first album released after the passing away of guitarist Thomas Fekete, who unfortunately lost his battle with cancer.

The album is a short one, with only eight songs, and refuses to overstay its welcome. This is exemplified with opening trio ‘Matter of Time’, ‘Frozen’ and ‘Dino Jay’ – all bursts of power, forming a cohesive start to the album with the surf-tinged rock ringing throughout all three tracks. All songs are tight and brief, leaving the listener wanting more, a want that is satisfied by the rest of the album.

The album really kicks into gear with ‘Six Flags in F or G’, which is driven by a booming bassline, before fading into a jangly tune reminiscent of the first three songs, albeit with more energy. This, along with ‘Snowdonia’, the title track, is longer and more drawn out. ‘Snowdonia’ especially has more of a jam feel rather than a compact, tight song, which also makes it arguably the most interesting song on the album. The refrain “you don’t need me anymore” rings out over and over through the intro of the track, with instrumental sections peppered throughout. Whereas the previous song was long and urgent, this track floats along, and is surprisingly over before you know it.

‘Instant Doppelgängers’ follows and adds to the wonderful track names peppered throughout the album (seriously, early contender for best tracklist of the year). It too jams out, with most of the song consisting of guitar riffs that whizz by, grabbing at your attention before fading out (much like a summer breeze). ‘Taking Care of Eddy’ and ‘Carrier Pigeon’ close the album, and rather than going out with a bang, it canters along to the finish. The closer in particular encapsulates the feel of the whole record.

Snowdonia won’t be the most important, or most emotional album you hear this year. However, Surfer Blood have released a collection of fun tunes that are sure to stick around in your memory, long after your first listen. This is definitely an album worth checking out, especially for those who want to hold onto summer long after it has disappeared.

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