Sur Back, of Jupiter, Fl (a real place), lays claim to ‘breakbeat baroque-pop meets New Wave chanson + converses in fuzz guitar.’ While this quirky elevator pitch impresses, Sur Back’s incredible expressiveness and sense of dynamics, used to mix fractured electronics and pop sensibilities, impress even more. One could call her a successor to St. Vincent, openly inspired by the artpop songstress even before the latter released her S/T record, which indie crowds as well as the Grammys lauded with praise. And one would not be wrong. On Sur Back’s first single, ‘Jane Eyre,’ she enraptures listeners with a dreamlike opening sequence… which quickly melts into anxious pondering over a thudding 13/8 drum machine. Brass hits underscore the drama of ‘Jane Eyre’ as she stumbles and interjects with a nervous lack of inhibition, and a desperation, taking listeners by the shoulders as she gasps, ‘I cannot save you, so how can you look at me that way?’ In her second and most recent single, ‘Occam’s Razor,’ she arrives crooning. She says, ‘here we are, you’re not alone,’ and wanders around in claustrophobic drum machines and lush synths. By the end of song, however, she decides to run away with her electric guitar into pop anthem climax. Both singles, available together as a gorgeous velvet, flowers, and pistachio-scented CD package here, foreshadow a potentially great Sur Back debut record (coming soon, allegedly). Like the singles, it will boldly marry non-traditional songwriting/instrumentation with pop sensibilities. Until its release though, fulfill your need for ambitious artpop by seeing Sur Back on her first East Coast tour, with South Florida tourmate Jude, starting June 23rd.
by Manny Ignacio for Dingus on Music