Now into its tenth year, Nada Surf started under the careful guidance of The Cars’ Ric Ocasek and, following the loss of a drummer, multiple start-stops with record labels really made a big impact with the debut LP High / Low. I was lucky to see them live in a TV studio in 1997 and was mightily impressed as they combine two of my favourite musical strands – indie and pop. Better still, they combine them with the best of both – lessons learned from Ocasek methinks) and 2003’s Let’s Go was a pinnacle, described in some circles as the perfect pop album. That fine work has continued with newcomer The Weight Is Gift and opener Concrete Bed sets off at a fair lick and the guys really hit stride with Always Love, which takes a step down in tempo but has its heart in the right place. Your Legs Grow is another quality down-tempo number but my favourite remains All Is A Game, closely followed by Blankest Year. Where Keane, fine as they are, preen and strain for pop quality, Nada Surf make it seem effortless.

Recommended listening:
Blankest Year
Concrete Bed
All Is A Game
Comes A Time

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