With its wavy lines and pure '90s aesthetic, you can tell Big Surr’s intentions just by looking at the album cover for the group’s full length debut.
In Business, which features a blend of remixed older songs and new hits, heralds the changing of the seasons, acting as one of the first truly summer albums of the year to emerge from the Nashville music scene.
Musically, In Business is light, airy and fun – it makes you think of the warm sun and cool water. It’s no coincidence that the first thing you hear after the tempo-setting beat laid down by drummer Cam Sarrett is a riff reminiscent of the classic surf song “Wipeout.”
Now, if I’ve learned anything from watching teen summer movies, it’s that summer is for lovers – and this album is no different.
Most of the songs on In Business deal with various stages of relationships. The opening track, “Alright,” is about the early stages where you just want to spend time with someone, no matter what you’re doing. “Vacation” tackles moving across the country for someone and having things not quite work out, which leads to the realization that it’s probably time to split on “At the Bi-Rite.”
It’s kind of a nostalgic album – not because the group is nostalgic for anything in particular, but because the album makes you feel nostalgic for those late summer nights spent talking for hours with that first special someone.
It taps into early romance in a carefree kind of way that I really dig – though I’ve always been one to romanticize the past a bit. Of course, I might not be the only one.
With lyrics like “First we’re moving backwards/Now we’re moving forward/If I yell louder/Will you love me more,” Helen Van’s lyrics are earnest, if a little on the nose.
Van’s voice falls on the lower end of the scale for most of the songs, which fits with the group’s slightly distorted and laid back feel, but she does have a pretty voice when she open’s things up, like on my personal favorite track, “At the Bi-Rite.” She soars during the chorus before coming back down, like a wave crashing on the shore.
This all might seem like something we’ve heard before, both musically and lyrically, because it is. However, it’s also a lot of fun. I’ve been bumping to this album pretty much constantly since I first listened to it – it’s catchy, dammit.
The guitar playing by Asher Horton and Josh Halper is a lot better than you might expect just based off the album’s description, and they really prove it with some tasty licks on several songs.
Listen, this isn’t the kind of album that, if you skip it, you’ll regret when you see it topping the greatest hits of Nashville in the New Tens. But In Business is a competently crafted, airy, fun take on the concepts of summer and romance.
Artist: Big Surr
Album: In Business
May 16 2018