Veteran indie rockers Nada Surf started touring their fifth album Lucky, which is slated for a February 5th release, back in October. Hailing from New York City, Nada Surf’s line-up has remained solid since the band’s inception 12 years ago. The newest record includes cameos from renowned peers such as Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie), Ed Harcourt, John Roderick (The Long Winters) and Phil Wanscher (Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter).
Lucky‘s motif of melancholy shines through on tracks revolving around restlessness, longing and the elusiveness of love. The album’s first track, “See These Bones,” references the Jets and Sharks of West Side Story, a telling sign that the album will draw greatly on star-crossed love while also reveling in self-doubt: “Try as they might / No one’s immune to misfiring / And acting on the wrong clues.”
“Whose Authority” follows and is a bit more upbeat than its predecessor, but the entire first half of the album retains a mellow and almost sad quality, almost as if the band were uninspired during much of the disc’s production. Come track number eight, titled “Ice on the Wing,” the entire mood of the album shifts from its previous melancholy state to happy via upbeat pop with a great brass section closing out the song.
As quickly as “Ice on the Wing” turned Lucky from its dejected mood, the disc 180s right back around like a manic depressive or someone suffering from bipolar disorder as “The Fox” brings a darker and slightly haunting presence to the CD. Lucky closes out with “The Film Did Not Go ‘Round,” another song featuring a depressed state-of-mind, comparing his love life to a camera that’s “shutter clicked / But the film did not go ’round,” leaving him with nothing and seemingly turning the album’s title into a cruel or ironic joke. Nada Surf’s highly-anticipated fifth album is a beautiful disc even in all its unhappiness.
Look for Nada Surf’s Lucky on Barsuk Records in stores on Tuesday, February 5, 2008.