Appeared in the Hindu Metroplus Beatstreet in April 2012.
Nada Surf – The Stars are Indifferent to Astronomy – City Slang (2012)
There’s only so much a band can do when they have already gone beyond caring about critical acclaim
and the sort. Being an indie band, Nada Surf already had a good fan-following since their ‘High/Low’
The best thing to do at a juncture like this would be to sit back and enjoy the ride, as the idiom goes. But
this New York trio wants to revel, hoping to shout and wave their arms excitedly. And while there’s no
actual shouting on their release ‘The Stars are Indifferent to Astronomy’, Matthew Caws, Daniel Lorca
and Ira Elliot manage to keep the signature sound going, having a few friends jump in as well.
‘Clear Eye Clouded Mind’ kicks open the album, with Caws singing “All I feel is transition/
Now to be alone/With a clear eye, with a clouded mind/The stars are indifferent to astronomy/And all
that we think we know.” It becomes the most likeable song within its first listen.
Doug Gillard (formerly of Guided by Voices) provides additional guitar riffs, with Caws singing in his own
starry way full of wonderment, on songs such as ‘Looking Through’ and ‘Teenage Dreams’. The slower,
more lyrically-derived songs are polished off with lush sounds, as heard in ‘When I Was Young’ and ‘Let
the Fight do the Fighting’. Then there’s the simplest form of indie rock in cryptically-lyrical ‘No Snow on
Nada Surf are often described as “indie rock underdogs”, and they hardly seem to want to move away
from such a slot. You may call it playing it safe, but this album would make existing fans gladly show off
one of their favourite bands, while new fans take a retrospective trip through the band’s 15-year-old