Everyone’s favorite surf-rockers are back with three new singles, but they may not sound like what you would expect from the band who coined the term “Beach Goth.” Costa Mesa natives, The Growlers, are preparing for the release of their sixth full-length studio album, Natural Affair, this fall.
The album’s title track was the first to be released on Aug. 2, accompanied by the possible album cover that features the band with their respective families and friends. The song also has a distinctly domestic focus, as it opens with the line, “Dysfunctional, a family nonetheless. Traditional with some modern twist.”
With a general theme of the power of women, individuals and love, “Natural Affair” features some of The Growlers’ more sentimental songwriting – possibly directed toward frontman and lyricist Brooks Nielsen’s two young children.
Two weeks later, the band released their second single, “Foghorn Town.” Compared to “Natural Affair,” this song picks up much faster, as it reaches the extremely catchy chorus just 30 seconds in. Nielsen seems to describe being from a place without hope or opportunity, and a yearning for “another state of mind.”
One of the most memorable lyrics from “Foghorn Town” that demonstrates Nielsen’s wit and classic style is, “Life ain’t paradise, it’s a pair of dice, so let ‘em roll.”
The latest single,“Try Hard Fool,” was released earlier this month. Similar to its predecessors, the song has a theme of not taking life too seriously and finding joy, despite an unfortunate situation.
The chorus begins with the line, “It’s just a game, though you ain’t no child. You gotta laugh every once in awhile,” leaving an impact on fans who chose to share the lyrics across various social media platforms.
The band’s shift in sound has been gradual, dating back to the release of Chinese Fountain in 2014 and perpetuated with their 2016 release, City Club, produced by Julian Casablancas of The Strokes. Nielsen has openly expressed his interest in afrofunk, so their transition to a more upbeat sound that matches their high-energy stage presence is only fitting.
You can catch The Growlers live in Sacramento at the Ace of Spades on Oct. 1, Arcata at the Van Duzer Theatre on Oct. 2 or Los Angeles at the Hollywood Palladium during their Beach Goth Halloween festival from Oct. 31 through Nov. 2.