In 1993, Matthew Caws (guitar, vocals) and Daniel Lorca (bass) began playing music together. The following year, they added drummer Ira Elliot, and they’ve been playing together as Nada Surf ever since.

When trying to figure out what to call themselves, they started with a blank slate, nada. Ira Elliot did an interview with Semone Maksimovic from Acid Logic back in 2003. Semone, like everyone else, wanted to know how the band Nada Surf came up with their name, what does it mean? Elliot shared that, “It didn’t really have a meaning at the time, and it’s now come to mean ‘surfing on nothing’ or ‘dealing with whatever you have and making the best of it.'”

Popular or nada so much

Maybe it was the hakuna matata type of attitude that helped to make the band such a popular phenomena in the 90s. Or maybe it was their hit song, “Popular.” The track played through airwaves all summer in 1996 while they toured with Superdrag. The popularity of the track fizzled, and their label really didn’t attempt to push out any other singles from High/Low. Nada Surf was left with nada thanks to Elektra Records. Fortunately for fans, their music wasn’t silenced for long. After Elektra Records dropped them they kept surfing on, making sure their fame didn’t end as one-hit wonders.

  • High/Low (1996)
  • The Proximity Effect (1998)
  • Let Go (2002)
  • The Weight Is a Gift (2005)
  • Lucky (2008)
  • If I Had a Hi-Fi (2010)
  • The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy (2012)
  • You Know Who You Are (2016)

Nada Surf has announced plans for a major U.S. tour.

The headline dates begin January 14 at Seattle’s Neptune Theatre, and then they’ll travel through early February where they will leave off at the Bowery Ballroom in New York. Opening acts throughout will be Apex Manor (January 14-19), Lees Of Memory (January 27), and Aaron Lee Tasjan (solo – January 29-February 1); additional special guests will be announced. For those of you in Philly, you’ll be able to find the band at World Café Live on January 30.

In the meantime, Nada Surf will visit Richmond, VA’s historic theater The National on Sunday, November 10 for a very special live recording of Public Radio’s Full Disclosure with Roben Farzad.

2018 saw the New York City-based band celebrating the 15th anniversary of their seminal Barsuk Records label debut album, Let Go. In addition, Nada Surf recently marked the 20th anniversary of 1999’s North 6th Street, a long-unavailable collection of early demos recorded upon the band’s initial formation, by making it available on digital services for the first time. Meanwhile, Nada Surf is currently working on the follow-up to 2016’s acclaimed eighth studio recording, You Know Who You Are, and live album, Peaceful Ghosts (recorded alongside Vienna’s ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra and Potsdam’s renowned Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg), due sometime in 2020.

Don’t wanna see the American dream die in the night

The latest song we heard from Nada Surf came in March of this year. Matthew Caws wrote an incredible song after reading about the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border. He sings about being on a bigger team, and having been viewed as “guiding lights” in history. It’s an amazing song, and I applaud Matthew Caws for using his talents to express how he feels about the dysfunction he is seeing in our country today. So even if you do not know Nada Surf and you didn’t grow up with their music, I urge you to listen to “Song for Congress” share below. It’s incredible.

We’re on a bigger team than left or right
We have a flickering history as a guiding light
Don’t wanna see the American dream die in the night

US Nada Surf Tour 2020


14 – Seattle, WA – Neptune Theatre

15 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge

17 – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall

18 – San Diego, CA – Casbah

19 – West Hollywood, CA – Troubadour

20 – West Hollywood, CA – Troubadour

22 – Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom

24 – Austin, TX – The Mohawk

25 – Dallas, TX – The Kessler Theater

27 – Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge

29 – Washington, DC – The Black Cat

30 – Philadelphia, PA – World Café Live

31 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg


1 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair

2 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom