SURFER BLOOD

Carefree Theatre in John Paul Pitts words:

I.

In the winter of 2017 I sat down to write a song like any other. Before I knew it the ground had shifted beneath my feet and I found myself in a world I didn’t recognize. I moved home to my parent’s house in Florida; to a mother who was sick, a studio in disrepair, and a country that had taken a turn for the worst.

I set out to write as many short pop songs as possible, it didn’t take long to get some inertia going. As a matter of fact, after a month or so I was wrestling with which songs to cut! I finally worked up the nerve to share the demos with Mikey, Lindsey, and Tyler. They gave me their honest feedback and we got to work learning the songs.

We started recording the basic tracks for twenty-five songs in the late summer of 2018. The drums and bass sounded great right away, but we spent a lot more time recording vocals and guitar overdubs. Mikey and Lindsey brought the songs together with their delicate harmonies, tasteful fills, and heavy handed use of effects. I spent a few weeks sleeping on the studio couch (which is actually very comfortable) mixing until the sun came up. Finally, after months of work, everything was in its right place.

II.

The Carefree Theater in West Palm Beach, FL was the only real venue in town for most of my childhood. It was where we would go for anything from shows to theatrical productions. It was just the kind of exposure that showed me there was a whole world outside of Florida; the kind of experience that would inform a twenty-one year old student to drop out of school and start a band.

Sadly, in a town overrun with indifference and materialism, the theater couldn’t survive. It was abandoned my senior year of high school (some kids from my class snuck inside once to raid what was left of the liquor closet). Two years later it was demolished and the rubble sat there for years: a physical reminder of the things you take for granted until they’re gone. Eventually it was swept away and replaced by an antique store, an art gallery, and rows and rows of sable palms.

This album is about coming full-circle. We’ve had our ups and downs as a band, plenty of changes through the years, but here we are back where we started. After a decade of touring and putting out records, we’re back with our first label just in time for the ten year anniversary of Astro Coast. For all the pushing ahead and not looking back, the past has caught up with us. I don’t mean that in a haunting way, but in the familiar way that warms you from the inside.

*****

On May 1, 2020 Surfer Blood will release Carefree Theatre, their fifth studio album, and a return to their first label Kanine Records. Written and recorded in South Florida, its the first record the band has released since John Paul Pitts, the singer and main songwriter moved back to the state. It’s an album not as much looking back as coming full-circle.

The Carefree Theatre in West Palm Beach, FL was the only venue in town for most of the band’s childhood; its where kids would go for everything from touring punk bands to community theater productions. It was the kind of experience that would expose a twenty-one year old songwriter to a world outside of Florida, and inspire him to start a band and tour the country.

It was a leap of faith the band took in 2010 with the release of Astro Coast, the band’s celebrated debut. Surfer Blood’s rise was remarkable, from rehearsing in a Florida storage container to mainstage at Coachella and touring with the Pixies. Then after an all-too-commonplace major label disaster, the band rebounded quietly, putting out two adventurous albums and consistently touring the world for over a decade.

It’s the kind of resilience and hard-work that’s admirable in our disposable age, and it looks like the band’s output won’t be slowing down anytime soon: ten years, four full-length records, and a few lineup changes later, the band has re-centered itself with its tightest and most focused songs in years.

TRACKLISTING:
1. Dessert Island
2. Karen
3. Carefree Theatre
4. Parkland (Into the Silence)
5. In the Tempest’s Eye
6. In My Mind
7. Unconditional
8. Summer Trope
9. Uneasy Rider
10. Dewar
11. Rose Bowl


Surfer Blood Chocolate Shop 174

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IMAGES: To download, click above. Photo credit to Dustin Milner (chocolate shop photo) and Zak Bennett (elevator photo).

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