September 14, 2016
Ingo Pertramer

Ingo Pertramer


Following the release of their album ‘You Know Who You Are’ earlier this year, New York-based Nada Surf are set to release a new live album entitled ‘Peaceful Ghosts (Live with Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg)’, which is due out Oct 28th via City Slang.

‘Peaceful Ghosts’ came about after front man Matthew Caws received a surprise email asking about a potential collaborative project from FM4. A little over a year later, the result is a beautiful record, showcasing a completely new side to the alt-rock four-piece. The depth added by the orchestra only strengthens the power and majesty of Nada Surf’s recognisable sound. ‘Peaceful Ghosts’ was recorded across two live performances in Vienna & Potsdam and the ‘Out of the Dark’ video is a montage of photos taken during part of the album’s recording in Vienna.

In the summer of 2015, Matthew Caws – the singer/guitarist of Nada Surf – was sitting at his kitchen table in Brooklyn frantically writing what would become Nada Surf’s seventh album, the critically acclaimed You Know Who You Are (2016), when an email arrived that would delight and terrify him. Once a year, FM4 in Austria chooses an artist for a national orchestral concert that’s broadcast across the country, and they reached out to Nada Surf asking if the band would like to be the next. Soon after receiving the FM4 request, the band secured a similar offer from Radio Eins in Berlin to perform live on air with the Babelsberg Film Orchestra, which derives its name from and is affiliated with the legendary Babelsberg Studios where notable films such as Metropolis, Dr. Mabuse and The Blue Angel were made.

“If we said yes, we’d have to choose a composer to write the parts and then decide which songs he or she should write for. We’d have to decide these things soon. Well, that was out of the question,” recalled Caws. “Deciding what kind of Thai curry take-away I should get that evening was about as distant a decision as I could imagine, while the small matters of which songs would go on the new Nada Surf record, who would mix them, what the album would be called and what the final verse of the song I was working on right then would be, loomed ahead. I would try and answer these questions after that curry, but making decisions about a concert months later was more than I could handle.”

Instead of passing up the opportunities Nada Surf asked their good friend, multi-instrumentalist Martin Wenk, whose own band Calexico had done the FM4 Vienna Radio Symphony concert in 2013, to oversee the details with composer Max Knuth, while the band focused on putting the finishing touches on You Know Who You Are. For those of us unable to make it to Europe in June 2016 to listen to the fruits of this collaboration either in-person or over the airwaves, the band is making it available now with their album Peaceful Ghosts.

On Peaceful Ghosts, the orchestrations cover a broad stylistic range, James Bond at one extreme and joy and wonder of Walt Disney at the other, with a whole range of surprises in between. Classics such as the delicate melancholy of “Blonde On Blonde” unfold to surprising new places with soaring countermelodies, while new favorites from You Know Who You Are, including “Rushing” and “Out of the Dark”, showcase the power and majesty of the original without losing the lyrical and musical subtlety that has become the hallmark of Nada Surf for the past twenty years.

See Nada Surf live:

29.10.16                      CH      Zurich, Zermatt unplugged, Kaufleuten
30.10.16                      IT        Rome, Quirinetta
31.10.16                      IT        Bologna, Zona Roveri
02.11.16                      IRL      Dublin, Grand Social
05.11.16                      DE       Potsdam, Nicolaikirche (Orchestra Show)
06.11.16                      DE       Wiesbaden, Schlachthof
07.11.16                      FR       Reims, la Cartonnerie
09.11.16                      DE       Krefeld, Kulturfabrik
10.11.16                      DE       Bremen, Modernes
11.11.16                      DE       Osnabrück, Rosenhof
12.11.16                      NL       Haarlem, Patronnat
13.11.16                      BE       Liège, Reflektor
15.11.16                      FR       Nancy, Autre Canal
16.11.16                      CH      Luzern, Schuur
17.11.16                      AT       Innsbruck, Weekender
18.11.16                      AT       Linz, Posthof
19.11.16                      CH      Fribourg, Fri-son
21.11.16                      FR       Toulouse, Bikini
22.11.16                      ES       Barcelona. Razzmatazz II
23.11.16                      ES       Valencia, Sala Moon
24.11.16                      ES       Murcia, Teatro Circo
25.11.16                      ES       Sevilla, Custom
26.11.16                      PT       Lisbon, Lisboa ao Vivo
27.11.16                      ES       San Sebastian, Gastazena
29.11.16                      FR       Nantes, Stereolux
30.11.16                      FR       Caen, BBC
01.12.16                      FR       Alençon, La Luciole
02.12.16                      FR       Paris, Bataclan
03.12.16                      FR       Penmarch’, Cap Caval
04.12.16                      FR       Angoulême, La Nef

‘Peaceful Ghosts’ artwork:

‘Peaceful Ghosts’ track list:

  1. Comes A Time
  2. Believe You’re Mine
  3. Beautiful Beat
  4. Blizzard of ‘77
  5. Rushing
  6. The Fox
  7. Blonde on Blonde
  8. 80 Windows
  9. Inside of Love
  10. Out of the Dark (stream)
  11. When I Was Young
  12. Animal
  13. Are You Lightning?

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