Album Review – Heaven Surrounds You

Photo on Spotify, Courtesy of Surf Curse. Album Cover for

Photo on Spotify, Courtesy of Surf Curse. Album Cover for "Heaven Surrounds You" by Surf Curse, on Spotify

Griffin Geiger, Author

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Heaven Surrounds You is the newest record from indie alternative rock band Surf Curse. Being the band’s third full studio album, the men behind the project, Jacob Rubeck and Nick Rattigan, have stated that Heaven Surrounds you is “a coming of age epic, inspired by the many cult films they’ve cherished throughout their young adulthood that are referenced across the album’s tracklist.”

Heaven Surrounds You is another example of Surf Curse‘s mellow, calmer beats that are far from something that would have been called rock music 30 years ago. The band’s inspiration from cult classics of the past are immediately prominent in the first track of the album, Map to the Stars. The acoustic-like sound and slower tones peppered throughout the song give the listener an adequate glimpse at what the rest of the album is like.

The second track, Labyrinth, starts out very upbeat, and fluctuates in tone throughout, as well as having very emphasized choruses without a lot of other vocals. The song afterwards, Disco, feels even more upbeat, with a catchy melody and typical romance-y lyrics. This song was released as a single for the album, and remains my personal favorite song of the band’s discography.

However, after the first three songs have run their course, the listener may begin to notice the main flaw with the album. Many songs feel pretty similar. While they mainly change in tone, lyrics and vocals, quite a few songs can have similar chords or melodies. All three beginning songs represent relatively basic templates that are used throughout the record. This was semi-prominent in Disco and Midnight Cowboy when the two songs were released as singles before the full album. Some people online noticed the similar chords and instrumentation of the tracks, which may be difficult for some listeners to ignore.

However, I found this to be less of a problem than I initially thought it would be when the album was released. Despite some similar songs, they still largely differ in terms of theme, lyrics, or tone. Along with that, there are a few songs that largely variate from the formula, namely Hour of the Wolf, which has longer, more drawn out notes and a pretty dark feel to it. While it doesn’t fully fix the problem as a whole, the occasionally changing themes still can keep fans invested.

If you’re not entirely sure of diving head first into this album, I’d highly recommend listening to at least the first three songs, which are not only great, but also give a good look at what the rest is like. If those songs are your kind of thing, I’d highly recommend listening to the full album.

VERDICT:

Overall, Heaven Surrounds You is another fresh, original experience from Surf Curse that’s able to make up in spades for its shortcomings with memorable tunes and a unique twist on the alternative rock genre. While it’s not for everybody, I would give it an 8/10.

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