Surfaces, comprised of Forrest Frank and Colin Padalecki, are an uplifting band that craft feel-good melodies that you can’t help but smile at. Surfaces’ distinctive sound hardly fits any defined genre, as their music contains pop, hip-hop, calypso, reggae and soul influences.
Whether or not you’re familiar with the fiery Texas-based duo, Surfaces makes the kind of music you play to start your morning on a high, or when you need a pick-me-up after a long, stressful day. Surfaces promote contagious positivity in their songs and feature on popular Spotify playlists such as ‘Mood Booster’, ‘Good Vibes’ and ‘DOPAMINE’. Once you hear Frank’s soothing vocals and Padalecki’s rich, upbeat rhythms, you’re instantly transported to your happy place where no worries exist. So sit back, relax, and let’s talk about the most positive, vibe-worthy band you should listen to this summer.
“Everything will be fine,” the newly formed duo remind us in their first-ever single, “Be Alright,” released in September 2017.
After meeting via SoundCloud, the pair went on to record the hopeful song and their debut beach album, “Surf” – released later that year in December – on Frank’s houseboat. Admittedly, what Surfaces created was an upbeat debut album that established the duo’s “sun-lit kids” brand. The duo describes their music as a “mental escape”: “It’s upbeat, but it’s also introspective. It’s peaceful, it’s calm, it’s wavy, it’s sunny, it’s all of the above. Their debut album perfectly embodies these melodic elements through their airy, Bublé-esque piano rhythms, serene ukulele strums, tropical marimba chimes, echoing backing harmonies, and lively, pleasing choruses.
The digital album cover of “Surf” evokes both a sense of calm and reflection: there is a sunset on the horizon on a beach with a computer resting on the sand. He tells us up front that their music takes us straight to the beach – where a 30-minute journey of love, passion, gratitude and childlike wonder awaits. Surface’s floaty intro song “The Way” typifies the album’s confident, youthful spirit with lyrics such as “I don’t know where we’re going / But I know it’ll be alright”. The album urges us to unleash our inner child and not take life too seriously because, just like Frank and Padalecki, we can all be “sunlit children”. “Surf” ends with the nostalgic, dreamy melody “Kid Kingdoms,” which has a smooth chord progression similar to a children’s music box. It’s a perfect finish to a thoughtful and melodic album.
Where’s the Light (2019)
Another short and sweet version – Surfaces’ vibrant musical palette is further developed in their second album, “Where the Light Is”. The groovy album is rich with its mix of soul, jazz and their signature feel-good pop. Sensual saxophone, bass bounce, creamy piano sound and smooth guitars give it a relaxed vibe. Much like the artwork for their latest album, Surfaces takes the beach as their primary inspiration for their music, seen just outside a colorful kitchen. Surfaces’ pervasive positivity shines through in their lyrics and encourages us to look “where the light is,” which is to have a grateful attitude and focus on the good things in life.
Their biggest hit to date, “Sunday Best,” which went viral on Spotify and TikTok in 2020, embodies that belief and unveils spiritual depth alongside the songs “Heaven Falls/Fall on Me” and “Grace.” Frank explained the purpose behind the viral hit: “It’s like stepping out of there and seeing the light of day and accepting who you are and accepting your situation and saying, ‘I’m just going to breathe this air and have a good day.’ “It’s clear that the duo doesn’t just want us to approach life in a naively optimistic way. Rather, we must recognize both light and darkness in our lives while choosing to walk in the light. Because even if the sun goes down, we have to keep the “Shine on Top” and enjoy “This View” while we can.
“Leave your worries at the door.” In 2020, Surfaces released “Horizons”, another carefree album built on good times, sunny days and kicking around with your friends during the summer. Their eye-catching album cover features a sunrise over “the horizon” with mountains and water all around. It’s a fun and airy album from start to finish and flows smoothly from song to song. Singles such as “Take It Easy”, “Keep it Gold”, “Good Day”, “Bloom” and a personal favorite, “Lazy”, are refreshing reminders to keep it simple and relax.
Since life can feel overwhelming and busy at times, it’s important to slow down and relax once in a while. Surfaces fully embraces this worry-free belief and encourages us to appreciate where we are in our lives. They also spread love and good energy in the relaxing tracks “Remedy” and “All Around”. The duo stay comfortable with streaming music that promotes a positive mindset. And if you ask me, it totally works.
Surfaces’ latest album, 2021’s “Pacifco,” is a catchy, effortless listen that includes their signature pop sound but this time, with fresh rhythmic bliss and a touch of melancholy. The duo recorded the album with the beautiful coast of Malibu right in front of them: “For almost a month, we woke up to this special stage perspective and we just did what that feeling gave us, hoping that our fans could hear what we were seeing. The summery sounds and peaceful sunsets of “Pacifico” certainly capture their Malibu paradise. In addition to the soothing nature of this album, the warm and emotional tone behind each song reveals a deeper layer of emotional vulnerability for the duo. Notably, soothing guitar harmony, drum beats and backing vocals cover the songs “Hideaway”, “So Far Away”, “Next Thing (Loverboy)”, “Let It Ride”, “With You” and “Pacifico”. .
However, they don’t lose sight of their familiar beach sounds and feelings of hope. “Let Me Know”, “Wave of You” and “Yours” all evoke their signature sound. Surfaces has also teamed up with a number of artists – for example, their humble track “On Time” features pop singer Quinn XCII. “Feels the Same”, a melancholic melody, features Public Library Commute. “Come With Me” is a romantic charmer recorded with salem ilese and the mellow R&B jam “Come Around” with Xavier Omar. The deluxe version, released a few months later, features even more artists: Tai Verdes, Thomas Rhett, Benny Sings and Kid Indigo. With various collaborations, Surfaces take their musical prowess to new heights.
Surfaces released new singles “Rooftops”, “What’s Been on Your Mind?” and “I can’t help but feel” this year. Their next album “Hidden Youth” is set to be released on August 26. Surfaces proves to be at its best when it comes to creating music that makes people smile. There is no doubt that another positive and fun album is coming our way!