Rad is a dumb term I use to describe more loud, aggro, punk influenced surf. I chose it because it rhymes with trad.
Instro music today is a wonderful thing. Whereas the big surge of surf music rode a wave of retro novelty, this music now sits comfortably in obscurity with its creators playing for themselves and their peers, free to let creativity take them wherever it may. Many new surf bands are moored much closer to modern surf groups than vintage, and that's a great thing. We're building, spreading, getting weirder and more interesting with each year.
Trad surf bands will happily fly the banner of being a surf band. Their albums are typically a simple selection of good, upbeat songs and are happy with that humble scope. It's not 100% cut-and-dry, and I'm bending my own rules on a few bands here, but these are records that make me happy to be a surf nut. And a side note: I'm including bands that might not strive for a California 60's sound but are otherwise retro-mimicking.
Surf has always had strong visual iconography attached to nudge how we interpret these instrumentals. We've built and expanded upon that just as we've transformed the music over the years. Here are some of the records where the art really stood out to me this year.
Treblemakers - Treble Stomp (Flippin the Bird)
LOS FRENETICOS - rosa rosa (el sonido que perdura)
Los Pontiaks - Bad Boy Boogie (Motel Acapulco)
Hattori Hanzo Surf Experience - Vesper Martini con Valentin Moldovan (Meanwhile in Mallorca)
Dr. Triton - Kampai! (Surfing Contest)
The Avalanches - Avalanche (Ski Surfin')
The Glaciers - Holiday Hill (From Sea to Ski)
The Buddies - Ski Jump (Go Go With the Buddies)
The Snowmen - Ski Storm (muscle bustle)
Pastels - Jungle Run (Jungle Exotica Vol 1)
The Dynamics - JAJ (Bolo Bash)
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