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Surfer Blood

West Palm Beach's Surfer Blood fuse sunny surf rock charm with indie rock cool. Featuring four friends who attended the same high school, Surfer Blood's performances are dominated by the interplay between chiming and gritty guitars fused with upbeat, engaging melodies reinforced by clean harmonies and a playfully intelligent point of view. The band made a strong debut with 2010's Astro Coast, followed by their first major-label release, 2013's Pythons. After returning to the indie ranks, they reaffirmed themselves on 2020's Carefree Theatre. Surfer Blood guitarist/vocalist John Paul Pitts and drummer Tyler Schwarz had known each other since high school; they started playing together and soon connected with guitarist Thomas Fekete and bassist Kevin Williams, officially becoming Surfer Blood in the spring of 2009. They began recording and touring almost immediately, laying down tracks in Pitts' apartment and embarking on four tours in their first five months together. The buzz around the band built quickly as they hit the road with Art Brut and Japandroids while preparing their debut album. Released in early 2010 by Brooklyn indie Kanine, Astro Coast was warmly received by critics and introduced Surfer Blood to a greater audience, reaching the Billboard Top 200. Later that year, the band signed to Warner Bros., but released the Tarot Classics EP on Kanine in 2011. Prior to the EP's release, Surfer Blood were pegged to be the opening act for Pixies' 2011 tour. Working with former Pixies producer Gil Norton, they delivered their more polished major-label debut, Pythons, in June of 2013. After debuting the new single "Dorian" in February 2015, the band announced that guitarist Fekete was suffering from sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, and was leaving the band. After signing to Joyful Noise Records, they delivered their third LP, 1000 Palms, in May of that year. Following the late-2015 departure of longtime bassist Williams -- who was replaced by old high school friend Lindsey Mills -- in May of 2016, Surfer Blood reported that former guitarist Fekete had succumbed to cancer. The band's ambitious 2017 album, Snowdonia, was the first to feature Mills and guitarist Mike McCleary. An EP, Hourly Haunts, arrived in 2019, followed by a new studio LP, Carefree Theatre, in 2020.
© Heather Phares /TiVo
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