Heavy Rotation: February 2017

In 2017, I’ve decided to make a monthly playlist, including my favorite new songs alongside whatever standbys make it into my ears the most often in the given month.

Each month I will post the playlist from Spotify and give you some highlights from the songs included. I love talking music and getting recommendations, so feel free to leave your suggestions!

Features for February:

Surfer Blood

I’ve been listening to West Palm Beach’s Surfer Blood since 2010’s Astro Coast, even including the album on my “28 Albums of Note, 2010” list on my old tumblr. Their fourth studio album was released February 3, 2017 by Joyful Noise: Snowdonia.

This is the band’s first album since the death of. Surfer Blood founding member and guitarist Thomas Fekete passed away in May 2016 from complications associated with a rare form of cancer. This is the band’s first album since the loss of Fekete.

Snowdonia sees the addition of Mike Mcleary on guitar and Lindsey Mills on bass/baking vocals, following the departure of bassist Kevin Williams.


Seeing the success of Ahmed Gallab is really inspiring, since at one point in time he spent a brief stint in Kent, Ohio—the town where I currently live and work. I heard him play a few times in the Rathskeller at Kent State’s student center, but I can’t remember which bands he contributed to nor what his solo name was at the time.

Gallab was born in London then lived in Sudan until he was 5 when his family moved to the United States. His music reflects the varied influences he has heard growing up in various places around the world.  Life & Livin’ It was released February 10, 2017.


Interestingly, the first band I listed this month (Surfer Blood) first gained buzz while touring with Japandroids.


The garage rock duo from Vancouver makes me question bands with more than 2 people on a regular basis, because they make a guitar and drumset fill an entire room with a wall of sound regularly on their records, and Near To The Wild Heart of Life is no different.

Check back at the end of each month in 2017 to get a taste of what I’ve been listening to.

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