Surfer Blood brings us Snowdonia, a treatment on the different stages of love just in time for Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re planning what gifts to buy your significant other, or frantically swiping on Tinder post break-up, there will be at least one song on the album that echoes your current romantic situation. If you’re flirting with someone, you could play them ‘Matter of Time’ – an upbeat, guitar-riff filled about the inevitability of a relationship that hasn’t come to fruition yet, and they might get the hint.
Alternatively, if you’re dating someone, but can’t stop thinking about all the mistakes you made in previous relationships, you could seek solace in ‘Dino Jay.” This song is about loving someone for the rest of your days, but having a corroded and damaged heart.
‘Snowdonia,’ the album’s titular song, utilises the band’s different talents: lilting vocal tones from John Paul Pitts, slow guitar solos from Pitts and Mike McLeary, and strong bass and drum lines from Lindsay Mills and Tyler Schwarz. Surfer Blood aren’t afraid to rely on their instrumental talents for this, creating tension by waiting to bring in lyrics about the strain of realising a relationship that has run its course reflected by lines such as “we’ve been waiting for the plot to thicken.”
‘Instant Doppelgangers’ continues this treatise on leaving the listener alone with their thoughts, albeit with bouncy bass lines and punchy interjections on drums this time. Beginning with lyrics about pairs such as hot and cold, and silver gold, the lyrics take a turn about not knowing where you’re going but maybe ending up with the other half of your pair.
The upbeat instrumentals combined with lyricisms of feeling unsure are carried through to ‘Carrier Pigeon,’ a closing song about not knowing who you are. Melancholy backing vocals echo the theme of drifting while lost, but the song manages to become a sing-along jaunt about leaving behind the old world you lived in.
Impressively, Surfer Blood manage to capture the different stages of life’s various romantic entanglements without resorting to bitter lyrics. It’s a thoughtful piece that uses the benefit of hindsight to dissect the emotions that go through our minds at every stage of love.