It’s hard to beat an afternoon spent building sandcastles and splashing in the surf—unless a jellyfish is involved. So it’s easy to see why so many bands have borrowed their names from all things coastal.
From beaches to boats and surf boards to sea creatures, it seems the list of venue marquees reading “wash” or “waves” is growing everyday, so in the spirit of summer, we decided to search the sea of rock for a few of our favorites.
20. Beach House
Baltimore’s dreamy duo of Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand create soaring songs that manage to inspire thoughts of an abandoned snow-covered cottage just as easily as they recall a lazy summer afternoon.
19. Nada Surf
Initially, the indie rockers’ name didn’t come attached with a special meaning; Nada was taken by another group, so the members randomly tacked on Surf. But over the years, fans have added their own explanations as to the significance of the band’s wave reminiscent name.
18. Washed Out
As one of the pioneers of the chillwave genre, Atlanta’s Ernest Greene creates hushed layers of garbled synth that wash over listeners.
17. The Submarines
Another name on the long list of independent musicians to lend their tunes to Apple, The Submarine’s addictive, “You, Me, and the Bourgeoisie” became lodged in our heads after it was featured on a commercial for the iPhone. But the product of married couple John Dragonetti and Blake Hazard’s musical relationship has resulted in an impressive amount of albums that are equally as catchy.
Released in 2007, the video for Icelandic group Seabear’s song, “I Sink I Swim,” quickly racked up over one million views on YouTube and led the group’s soft spoken and indie-folk-inclined members to embark on crafting another full length LP.
15. Dirty Beaches
The product of Taiwan-born Alex Zhang Hungta, Dirty Beaches has been gaining praise from critics ever since his pleasantly lo-fi first LP, Badlands, was released earlier this year.
It only takes a quick peek at electronic duo’s mission statement to understand just how wonderfully bizarre the pair’s compositions have become: “YACHT aims to provide an alternative to religion by creating a community which provides long-lasting meaning and value without dogma or submission. We share many things with spiritual groups: we respect ritual, ceremony, and magic. We desire to turn disassociated people into a group capable of summoning upon itself high, transcendent power. However, we believe that traditional religious dogma can, if we are not intellectually engaged with it, hold us in a kind of prison of the mind. We aim to break free, break molds, and impress upon our members the importance of self-empowerment.”
13. Fang Island
Rhode Island art rockers Fang Island snagged their name after reading an article on Donald Rumsfeld in the always hilarious faux-news source, The Onion.
12. Noah and the Whale
Last time we chatted with Noah and The Whale, they filled us in on how their peculiar name was inspired by Noah Baumbach’s 2005 film, The Squid and The Whale. Since then, the group has been on the road in support of their third LP, Last Night on Earth.
11. Nicole Atkins and the Sea
Besides being an awesome “member of the Paste crew at Bonnaroo, Nicole Atkins best displays her talents on the stage, performing and crafting her gorgeous compositions to her constantly expanding group of fans.
Originally formed from the remnants of The Promise Ring and The Dismemberment Plan, Maritime’s 2006 release, We The Vehicles, earned the group some serious buzz and rumors are swirling that the band’s fourth release is scheduled to hit the shelves at some point this year.
9. Surfer Blood
When Surfer Blood first appeared on the scene a couple of years back, the last thing on fans’ minds were the guys’ relative youth. Proving that talent doesn’t come with a minimum age requirement, the group’s record, Astro Coast, is laced with just enough relaxation to counter its high energy surf-pop, that it’s ideal for both a beach-side nap, or an afternoon of wave crashing adventures.
8. Best Coast
Armed with her cat Snacks and a rotating cast of oversized shades, 2011 has proven to be a good year for Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino. Her group’s record, Crazy For You, has earned the band a huge following that includes everyone from teenagers to those same teenagers’ chilled-out parents, and her internet presence on both the Twitter and blog fronts has added to the trend of celebrities sharing the daily happenings of their lives with fans.
7. Beach Fossils
Simply glimpsing at the track titles on Beach Fossils’ 2010 self-titled LP will give you a pretty decent idea of what sound the lo-fi Brooklyn outfit is trying to capture. After a few listens, we couldn’t help but want to hit the closest sand dune while relaxing to the breezy tones of “Daydream” and “Window View.”
6. Rogue Wave
Check out Paste’s footage from the Oakland outfit’s performance at Moog in Asheville, North Carolina.
5. Freelance Whales
When we last spoke with former Paste Best of What’s Next artists, Freelance Whales, we compared them to Passion Pit, Postal Service and Sufjan Stevens; pretty lofty acts to follow. But the indie rockers have since graced the stages of multiple festivals and have captivated listeners with their infectious energy.
4. Lighthouse and the Whaler
The Cleveland quartet has released three studio albums and three EPs of catchy folk-pop tunes.
The Seattle trio’s recent LP, Go With Me, features 12 songs spanning a short 34 minutes. But, as each billowing track bleeds into the next, the record begins to mirror on extended composition.
With his outspoken love of the green stuff, Wavves has made quite a splash on the rock front. His latest endeavors including personalized grinders and a comic book which he says is like, ”...an extra retarded X-Men. There [are] heshers, evil parents, cat people, juvenile delinquents with partially functioning mutant powers, aliens, dreams.”
1. The Beach Boys
Did you really think that we’d forget about these guys