Friday, October 28, 2011

Nada Surf studio album due in January

Last year, I did an interview with Nada Surf, so I'm really looking forward to hearing their new album. Read more about it in the press release below...

Barsuk Records has announced the release of Nada Surf's The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy on Jan. 24, 2012. NPR debuted the first track, "When I Was Young." Fans can share and re-post the free download from

Stars is Nada Surf's seventh record and first with all-new material in four years. The band will perform a day-of-release show at New York City's Bowery Ballroom.

Nada Surf's lineup is still Matthew Caws (vocals, guitar), Daniel Lorca (bass) and Ira Elliot (drums), though this time, as on if i had a hifi and the tour that followed, they invited guitarist Doug Gillard (Guided by Voices, Death of Samantha) to join in. Chris Shaw (Wilco, Brendan Benson) produced, having worked with the band before when he mixed their hit song, "Always Love."

Unlike all of the other Nada Surf records, Stars was made with a distinct attempt to capture their live sound.

"We've always played faster and a little harder live," Caws says, "but we'd play so carefully in the studio. 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."

Author Jennifer Egan told Minnesota Public Radio this year that she listened to the band's music for inspiration while writing her 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel A Visit from the Goon Squad. "What they write about is very subtle moments of everyday life. They make it all look and feel very easy and natural."

Among The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy's songs is "When I Was Young," a look at the disconnect between youthful wishes and adult realities. Naturally, Caws takes the least grim possible position: that we're lucky enough to age into a place where the world we want is ours for the taking."

Nada Surf had made all but their first record outside of New York, figuring they'd avoid distractions. But if you want to preserve the energy of the practice room, why not record in the practice room?  For Stars they set up shop in their rehearsal space in Lorca's long-time loft in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The place is nicknamed "The Sitcom" because it regularly hosts a revolving cast of colorful characters and some legendary parties. There were some issues though - "We couldn't do vocals late at night," says Caws, "because the music from the bar downstairs would come through the floor."   

"Making this album was such a joy, the most fun we've had with a record," Caws continues. "For many years I'd only write if I had something troubling going on in my life and I needed to break through, but now I wanted to get past writing about just myself. That new outlook, for me, is the engine for making this record."

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