Photo Credit: Stefan Kohli
Written by Kelly Holm
If winter has got you feeling down in the dumps, Surfaces may be able to speckle the gloom with sunshine. Perhaps you’ve heard their track “Sunday Best” in a viral TikTok or two, but if you’re new to their music, a quick listen will leave you “feeling blessed, never stressed.”
“‘Sunday Best’ is such an exciting moment, it’s hard to pass up on,” says Forrest Frank, who makes up one half of the duo. “Performing it is one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had.”
Their most recent single “Bloom,” however, seem to give off even more chill vibes. Its “wholesome, adventurous, nostalgic” music video offers a preview for the overall theme of Horizons, the pair’s third album which dropped earlier today!
“‘Bloom’ has a bit of a retro, disco sound to it that doesn’t really fall into a genre,” the band says. “Our new album is mostly taking ‘oldies’ sounds and turning them into something new with uplifting and refined lyrics.”
Now that their YouTube subscriber number is in the hundreds of thousands and their songs are social media sensations, it may be hard to believe that Frank and his bandmate Colin Padalecki were just ordinary college students three years ago.
“We actually met through Soundcloud… and realized we were attending colleges that were only an hour and a half drive away from each other,” Padalecki says. “When we first started hanging out we just showed each other music we had been working on and jammed without an agenda in mind… [but] our first live performance was a small acoustic show in College Station. Our Surf acoustic EP had just come out, so we posted on social media that we’d be performing it at a record shop for free. About 50 fans ended up showing up.”
Fifty soon became fifty-thousand. Though Frank briefly moved to Seattle after graduation, Padalecki joined him to record tracks in his houseboat before an eventual return to Texas, where the viral “Sunday Best” was made.
“From then on, we knew we had something special,” Padalecki recalled. “When we’re at our desk making a song, we’ll just throw the production on loop and exchange melodies with each other almost like a tennis match… We actually recorded our second album at the same college house on Montclair Avenue where we had first met.”
That abode now serves as the inspiration for one of the tracks on the third album.
“‘Lazy’ is a song about reminiscing in the house… and having relaxing, yet wholesome experiences there,” Surfaces say. “People often tell us that our music is different because it’s thoughtfully positive and it changes their mood for the better… we want our fans to feel alive and excited about life. We want them to be encouraged.”
Surfaces’ uptempo look on life isn’t only evident in their lyrics and beats. Looking at the cover art on any of their records will leave you pining for the beach.
“We never wanted to make it about us, we wanted it to be about the music,” Padalecki says. “If you look at our album covers, we never depict ourselves because we feel like capturing the world that our music is creating is more important than idolizing ourselves.”
With the Horizons’ release dropping today, the duo plans to “tour more cities to spread more love for the better.”
We hope they’ll be coming to a city near you! Their influences span a myriad of artists, from Stevie Wonder to Marvin Gaye to Jack Johnson, the latter of whom gets a shoutout on Padalecki’s favorite track “Heaven Falls.” If you like the happy-go-lucky lyrics of the Beach Boys combined with the funk beats of the Flaming Lips, they’ve got just the vibe for you.