How fitting to have the rain drops fall outside as we listen inside to Surge and the Swell’s newest release, Offering, a album full of watery images and a themes of being present and acceptance.
Surge and the Swell is both a solo project and a collaboration; we had an opportunity to talk with founder Aaron Cabbage and member Adam Levy earlier this week for some of the stories behind the songs. But that didn’t prepare us for the sense of community in the room and the buoyancy of good will.
The band of eight filled the stage at the Icehouse. Everyone was excited. They started with Hard Work, there was so much energy and the voices of Aaron, Katie Gearty and Sarah Souder are so uplifting. Their voices marry so well and we heard it in a few songs like Mistakes and Love 4000 (which is maybe the only song they sang that wasn’t from the album).
Surge and the Swell (the song) took on an entirely new feel in the room. Listening at home it has a summer, on the lake feel. But last night with rain and sleet pounding on the windows, the tambourine sounded like raindrops; it’s fun to hear a song adapt to its surroundings. Nights are So Long maintains that sultry sound, maybe even doubles down in person. It’s a slow balance between sexy and chill. The set ended with Gravity Boots, a song about surviving change written before the pandemic but it hits a note while remaining upbeat with a catchy calypso ending. (I think I heard Isaac Levy get some credit for that sound!) Also love the low end of Aaron’s voice on that song.
A quick nod to the next band too – Jason Streitz and The Long Odds. They were a nice pairing with a more America. The keyboard sounded great, the drum and of course Jason’s voice. The songs tell a story with a pep that’s toe tapping and energizing.