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Album Review: Surrogate - Diamonds and Pearls

When writing wistful, quirky, indie-pop songs there’s definitely a most delicate balance to be struck between accessibility and interest. So simple to say, yet it’s fiendishly difficult to achieve the perfect balance; too accessible and the risk of dullness looms large, too quirky and you’re alienating everyone but the hipsters.

California’s Surrogate have, however, navigated this tightrope rather neatly. Their ‘Diamonds and Pearls’ EP is a collection of seven cleverly written, well-balanced pop songs.

First track ‘Pearls’ opens with a tone both measured and serious before taking an entirely more whimsical turn. It’s a neat little summation of the bands versatility and the breadth of their ideas.

‘Can’t Go Home’ captures the aforementioned wistfulness perfectly with its slow-strummed guitar while ‘Old Life’ and ‘Diamonds’ add a dose of energy and upbeat pop-rock sensibility to the proceedings.

There is happily no drop-off in quality across the seven songs. The gorgeous ‘Settle’ has a measure of programmed percussion sprinkled over its minimal verses before the more expansive chorus opens out beautifully into a memorable refrain. It’s a model that also describes appropriately affecting closer ‘Hope Alaska’, a simple verse setting the scene before the chorus pays off with interest.

Coming off the back of two previously released full-lengths, it is unsurprising to find an assured maturity in the band’s song writing. Happily, ‘Diamonds and Pearls’ is an excellent step forward, combining the erudition of their previous offerings with a more solid grasp on old-fashioned pop-hooks. It’s perfect summer listening.


'Diamonds and Oearls' by Surrogate is out now.

Surrogate on Facebook, Purevolume and Twitter.

Nick Worpole

Alter The Press!