|Nada Surf — Peaceful Ghosts (2016)|
Nada Surf — Peaceful Ghosts (October 28th, 2016)
¬••• “PEACEFUL GHOSTS” (LIVE WITH THE BABELSBERG FILM ORCHESTRA) ANNOUNCEMENT: Surprise! We’re excited to announce the October 28th release of “Peaceful Ghosts,” an album that was recorded this summer when the band performed with the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra (Vienna) and the Babelsberg Film Orchestra (Berlin). The record will be available digitally, on CD and a limited edition 2x LP.
Location: New York City, New York, U.S. ~ Vienna & Potsdam (live show)
Album release: October 28th, 2016
Record Label: Barsuk Records / City Slang (US)
01. Comes a Time 5:19
02. Believe You’re Mine 4:47
03. Beautiful Beat 5:52
04. Blizzard of ‘77 2:59
05. Rushing 4:49
06. The Fox 5:32
07. Blonde on Blonde 5:02
08. 80 Windows 5:04
09. Inside of Love 5:42
10. Out of the Dark 4:49
11. When I Was Young 5:47
12. Animal 6:38
13. Are You Lightning? 5:42
⦿ Matthew Caws — lead vocals, guitar (1992–present)
⦿ Daniel Lorca — bass, backing vocals (1992–present)
⦿ Ira Elliot — drums (1995–present)
⦿ Doug Gillard — guitar, backing vocals (2012–present)
⦿ Daniel Brummel — bass, backing vocals (2016–present)Description:
♣ Peaceful Ghosts Live With Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg came about after Nada Surf frontman and main songwriter Matthew Caws received a surprise email asking about a potential collaborative orchestral project with the Austrian national radio station FM4. A little over a year later, the result is a beautiful recording, culled from two live performances in Vienna and Potsdam early this summer, that covers a broad stylistic range, from James Bond at one extreme to the joy and wonder of Walt Disney at the other, with a whole range of surprises in between. Classics such as the delicate melancholy of “Blonde On Blonde” unfold to surprising new places with soaring countermelodies, while new favorites from You Know Who You Are, including “Rushing” and “Out of the Dark”, showcase the power and majesty of the original without losing the lyrical and musical subtlety that has become the hallmark of Nada Surf for the past twenty years.
♣ Customers outside the US can order the album from CitySlang.
¬••• In the summer of 2015, Matthew Caws — the singer/guitarist of Nada Surf — was sitting at his kitchen table in Brooklyn frantically writing what would become Nada Surf’s seventh album, the critically acclaimed You Know Who You Are (2016), when an email arrived that would delight and terrify him. Once a year, FM4, in Austria, chooses an artist for a national orchestral concert that is broadcast across the country, and they reached out to Nada Surf asking if the band would like to be the next. Soon after receiving the FM4 request, the band secured a similar offer from Radio Eins in Berlin to perform live on air with the Babelsberg Film Orchestra, which derives it’s name from and is affiliated with the legendary Babelsberg Studios where notable films such as Metropolis, Dr. Mabuse, and The Blue Angel were made. “If we said yes, we’d have to choose a composer to write the parts and then decide which songs he or she should write for. We’d have to decide these things soon. Well, that was out of the question,” recalled Caws. “Deciding what kind of Thai curry take~away I should get that evening was about as distant a decision as I could imagine, while the small matters of which songs would go on the new Nada Surf record, who would mix them, what the album would be called, and what the final verse of the song I was working on right then would be, loomed ahead. I would try and answer these questions after that curry, but making decisions about a concert months later was more than I could handle.” Instead of passing up the opportunities Nada Surf asked their good friend, multi~instrumentalist Martin Wenk, whose own band Calexico had done the FM4 Vienna Radio Symphony concert in 2013, to oversee the details with composer Max Knuth, while the band focused on putting the finishing touches on You Know Who You Are. For those of us unable to make it to Europe in June 2016 to listen to the fruits of this collaboration either in~person or over the airwaves, the band is making it available now with their album Peaceful Ghosts. On Peaceful Ghosts, the orchestrations cover a broad stylistic range, James Bond at one extreme, and joy and wonder of Walt Disney at the other, with a whole range of surprises in between. Classics, such as the delicate melancholy of “Blonde On Blonde” unfold to surprising new places with soaring countermelodies, while new favorites from You Know Who You Are, including “Rushing” and “Out Of The Dark,” showcase the power and majesty of the original without losing the lyrical and musical subtlety that has become the hallmark of Nada Surf for the past twenty years.Review
By John Bell / 20 OCTOBER 2016, 09:30 BST / Score: 7
¬••• At 24 years old, Nada Surf is a band who has kept a firm hold of and preserved that gentle, alternative rock sound that — for me anyway — saw its highpoint in the late 00s amongst the likes of Modest Mouse and The Shins.
¬••• I found this out recently when, after for no real reason losing touch with the band after 2008’s Lucky, I came across You Know Who You Are, the band’s eighth full-length record released earlier this year. “Believe You’re Mine” put a smile on my face with its typically Nada Surf youthful spirit, sounding like it could have come straight off Lucky.
¬••• It was whilst writing You Know Who You Are when the band’s frontman Matthew Caws was to his surprise contacted by the Austrian national radio station FM4, who annually select a musical act to broadcast with their national orchestra. Word clearly spread quickly, and soon the band were confirmed to join the Babelsberg Film Orchestra in Germany, who take their name from the revered Babelsberg Studios, which produced cinematic classics such as Dr. Mabuse and Metropolis.
¬••• A year later and overseen by Calexico’s Martin Wenk and composer Max Knuth, the project was recorded with the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra in Vienna and the Babelsberg Film Orchestra in Potsdam. Opening on “Comes A Time” from 2005’s The Weight Is A Gift, it’s immediately clear how well the orchestral fusion will work, replacing the dreamy opening vocals of the original with grand string passages, whilst a flute follows Caw’s vocal melodies in the verses with an appropriate innocence.
¬••• The quality of the live recording is first rate, not letting the orchestra overbear in the mix but allow it to compliment the diverse selection of songs from the band’s back catalogue, from “Blizzard of 77” to “The Fox”. In terms of composition, the orchestral arrival is balanced as well, at times leading the movement and at others letting the original songs speak for themselves, as in the gorgeous closer “Are You Lightning”.
¬••• Revisiting their past and marking their present, Peaceful Ghosts celebrates Nada Surf’s history by adorning it in an ornate and orchestral veneer.
|Nada Surf — Peaceful Ghosts (2016)|