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Music / Nada Surf

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Left to right: Daniel Lorca, Ira Elliot, Matthew Caws and Doug Gillard
"I wanna know what it's like
On the inside of love
I'm standing at the gates
I see the beauty above"
— "Inside of Love"

Nada Surf is an alternative rock band hailing from New York City. Formed in 1992, it consists of Matthew Caws (lead vocals, guitar), Daniel Lorca (bass, vocals) and Ira Elliot (drums), with Doug Gillard on the guitars being the latest addition since 2010.

The band is well known for their hit single "Popular" from the Ric Ocasek-produced debut High/Low in 1996. Their follow-up The Proximity Effect was set to be released in 1998 (it only did in Europe) but issues with the label prevented the band to do so. They released it eventually in the 2000 under an independent label.

In 2002, the band released their third album Let Go, and despite not reaching the same success of their hit "Popular", it received great acclaim from the critics and gave the band a massive cult following among the indie crowd.

The band released their latest album Never Not Together in 2020.


  • High/Low (1996)
  • The Proximity Effect (1998)
  • Let Go (2002)
  • The Weight Is a Gift (2005)
  • Lucky (2008)
  • If I Had a Hi-Fi (2010)
  • The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy (2012)
  • You Know Who You Are (2016)
  • Never Not Together (2020)


  • Album Title Drop: "Do It Again"
  • Cover Version: The album If I Had a Hi-Fi consists of covers from artists such as Kate Bush, The Moody Blues and Spoon. Other notable covers outside of the album include "Where Is My Mind?" by the Pixies and "Can't Get It Out" by Brand New.
  • Foreign Language Title: "La Pour Ça".
  • Gratuitous French: Matt and Daniel took French classes in high school together, so naturally the band has had recorded songs with in French, as well done renditions of earlier songs in that language.
  • Lighter and Softer: Starting with Let Go, the band adopted a more refined indie pop sound compared to their predecessors.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Always Love" is an upbeat power pop song about the narrator holding himself back of finding the happiness he's striving for.
  • One True Love: In "Inside of Love", the narrator wants to find "the one" that he can find love as he laments how physical contact with one another doesn't equal love.
  • Precision F-Strike: "Blankest Year"
  • Shout-Out: The spoken word verses were taken from the book Penny's Guide to Teen-Age Charm and Popularity by actress Gloria Winters.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Bassist Daniel Lorca has sung lead vocals in some songs, such as "Troublemaker" and "La Pour Ça".
  • Title Track: "You Know Who You Are"
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Some of the band's music can have pretty much oblique lyrics.