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Nada Surf

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New York, United States (1992 – present)

Nada Surf is an American group that was formed in 1992. The New York band consists of Matthew Caws (guitar, vocals), Ira Elliot (drums, vocals) and Daniel Lorca (bass, vocals). Their debut album, titled ‘High/Low, came out on June 18, 1996 and featured production work from Ric Ocasek of The Cars

The band is best known for the song “Popular”, released as a single from their aformentioned debut. The song reached #11 on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and propelled the album itself to #63 on the Billboard 200. Each of the verses in “Popular” are extracted from the 1964 guide ‘Penny’s Guide to Teen-Age Charm and Popularity’, a work by former teen television actress Gloria Winters, and the lyrics are sarcastically spoken, with a calm, deadpan voice used initially that gradually builds Kinison-style in teen angst and rage.

The groups follow-up effort, an album titled ‘The Proximity Effect’, failed to garner as much attention due to music industry shenanigans. The band explains on their official website:

Nada Surf recorded The Proximity Effect in 1998 with Fred Maher (Luna, Lou Reed, Matthew Sweet). It was a mighty fine record. Elektra Atlantic], claiming they “didn’t hear a single,” asked the band to go back in the studio to hunt for one. As this was months after they’d handed the record in, the band refused and were dropped. It’s pretty safe to say, though, that Elektra didn’t appear to be “listening” very hard.

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