Song of the Day: Surf City - Spec City

Song of the Day
04/07/2015
Jacob Webb

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Spec City” by Surf City from the 2015 album Jekyll Island on Fire Records.

Surf City - Spec City (MP3)

Auckland, New Zealand's Surf City draws from the more languid and loose traditions of indie rock and Flying Nun's melodic sensibilities, merging the two in songs that are both dense and immediate. Founded by Josh Kennedy and Davin Stoddard in 2004, the band was originally titled Kill Surf City, named in honor of a Jesus and Mary Chain b-side. Recruiting the rhythm section of Logan Collins and Jamie Kennedy, the band toured New Zealand and Australia, eventually scoring a spot opening for the then-recently reunited Dinosaur Jr. and signing with Arch Hill to release their first EP. Their debut LP, 2010's Kudos, found critical acclaim from critics on both sides of the Atlantic, as did its followup, 2013's We Knew It Was Going To Be Like This. Their newest album, this year's Jekyll Island, finds Stoddard performing with a new lineup of the group, consisting of guitarist Jamie Kennedy and the rhythm section of Mike Ellis and Andy Frost. Despite the band's new lineup, their long-running melodic and clean tones are still dominant on "Spec City". Stoddard's nasally vocals float alongside a "Sometimes Always"-esque jangle melody as the song rolls along, ebbing and flowing up and down a spaced-out, reverb-drenched wave of guitars. Not unlike its title's similarity to its author's, "Spec City" condenses the myriad indie rock-based strengths of Surf City and packages them as directly as the band ever has.

Surf City will support Jekyll Island with the band's first-ever European tour next month, so be sure to keep up with the band's adventures over at their Facebook. Below, watch the band's video for their 2013 tack "NYC".

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