Favorite Feature: Surfaces

By: Robyn Tuazon

If you’re reading this then you don’t need me to elaborate on what a crappy year 2020 has been so far. And that’s me keeping it PG. You can substitute your own description. I’m sure you’ve already said it in your head. It’s almost hard to believe that we still have an entire 6 months left. And given the current social climate between the never-ending pandemic and the ongoing exchange of information focused on anti-racism and protests, it almost sounds silly to even think to discuss a topic such as music.

I heard this quote once that said, “When times are tough, that’s when you need creativity the most. Stimulation, inspiration, and expression, these are the things that renew us and keep us growing so we can fight through another day.” I feel as though that’s the mindset of most people these days, including myself. We’re just taking things one day at a time. Which is why I believe now more than ever we need the work of all creatives. Music, film, art, books, poetry, dance, these are all things that can heal us, comfort us, give us hope, or at the very least keep us sane. If I’ve learned anything during difficult times, it’s that we have to keep moving forward. Life must go on. The work must continue. So with this upcoming weekend bringing the official start of summer, I’m here to talk about a special musical duo, who not only continues to rise in popularity but have the capacity to bring forth light and joy into your home and into your life. And let’s be honest, who couldn’t use more of that?

Surfaces.

A pair of southern gentlemen based in the Lone Star State. Established in College Station in 2017, Surfaces is made up of friends Forrest Frank and Colin Padalecki. They met over SoundCloud, one reached out to the other and they discovered that they were attending universities that were in neighboring areas. And “the rest is history” as they always say each time they have to tell that story. Both in their early 20’s, these humble, charming, down-to-earth Texas boys have already released 3 full-length studio albums and successfully managed a sold-out nationwide tour last year which I had the privilege of catching. They did not disappoint and I would gladly pay to see them again. They’ve amassed 300k followers on Instagram, they average 21 million monthly listeners on Spotify, and they’ve already made their television debut on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” Recently, I’ve even started to hear them be featured on local radio stations. They’re young, they’re gifted, they’re driven, and they don’t appear to be stopping anytime soon.

It wouldn’t be fair to classify their music as indie pop as they also include jazzy and soulful melodies, elements of reggae and calypso, and even hip-hop and trap beats. Forrest’s dazzling vocals matched with Colin’s production/arrangement skills and their combined songwriting have proven to make a winning combination. What remains consistent throughout their genre- bending songs is their message and mission to “spread love and positivity across the world.” With their lighthearted and carefree lyrics and catchy and playful beats, their music is sure to lift your spirits. Seriously, they are the perfect antidote for those gloomy days or cabin fever. Each song is its own personal getaway that can transform your depressing quarantine into a lovely staycation. Listen to “This View” or “Good Day” and you’ll see what I mean.

Their latest album, “Horizons” dropped earlier this year in February. Personally, it’s my favorite of the three and in my opinion the best one they’ve put out so far. The quality of the production is significantly better than that of their first album, “Surf.” Now, I will say that because their sound is pretty uniform, if you placed all of their albums in shuffle, it would be kind of difficult to place which songs came from what so I would understand how someone could complain about it being repetitive compared to the previous two. Still, it doesn’t take away from the fact that I believe it to be a solid album which I enjoy from start to finish. Yes, it wouldn’t hurt to see them change it up on their next project. Truthfully, I wouldn’t mind seeing them get a little more vulnerable and raw with it. Peel back a few more layers if you will. But I mean when you have a formula that works and works well, why change it up right?

In addition to their feel-good vibes that they’ve come to be known for, their artwork and visuals are an entity of their own. And that’s all thanks to Colin who is the mastermind behind it all. What’s even more impressive and another fun fact that I learned is that he does all of the artwork on Keynote (say what? haha). Now, whenever I see pastel colors of any kind, I automatically think of them. I can’t help it. It’s incorporated in their cover art, their merch, and even their personal wardrobe. If you’re like me and find pleasure in aesthetics that are calm and soothing, then not only will you appreciate Surfaces sonically but visually as well. Look up their videos on YouTube. One of my favorites is the animation for the song “Bloom.

To sum up, if you’re looking to boost those summer playlists of yours, consider adding a few Surfaces songs to the mix. “Sunday Best” is by far their most streamed song and for good reason. It’s fun, it’s energetic, and feels like a cool Capri Sun on a warm sunny day. It’s refreshing and just makes you smile. A few personal faves of mine include, “Heaven Falls/Fall on Me”, “All Around,” and their brand new single “Learn To Fly” which features an impressive collaboration with the iconic Elton John (which I still have no idea how they managed but props to them). They never fail to brighten my day.

Music is powerful. It has the potential to shift your entire mood. In a time where we are limited in our interactions and our destinations, we are being forced to turn inward and find alternative ways to move throughout the world and navigate within new normals. Which can be incredibly challenging, stressful, and damn near frustrating. So the next time you’re feeling down, struggling, looking for someone to show you “Where The Light Is,” or are in need of a quick “Remedy” for all of life’s disappointments, or simply yearning for a means to satiate that wanderlust of yours and can’t. Try doing what I do. Hop in a car (if you have one), throw on a Surfaces song, and just drive. And if you can’t do that, grab a drink and have a dance party.

Keep It Gold” and keep it moving. 

Stay safe and stay healthy y’all.

surfacesmusic.com