New Beat Fund creates something new with this surf hip-pop (my name for this blend) sunny track Surf Style. The single depicts the southern California four-piece in a distinct and quite colorful class of the their own. Producer Matt Wallace (Maroon 5) and mixer Tony Hoffer (Foster the People) collaborated with New Beat Fund on their album Sponge Fingerz and such influences in pop can be heard in Surf Style, a properly titled reference to California-style rock.
The stylistic riff repeats with slightly different endings alternating back and forth, moving the melody like a wave. The beat washes over the listener and pairs with a loud snare that falls out right at the perfect moments, provoking the shoulders to sway in slow chaotic dance, just before the hard-hit comes back in to dictate a more evenly rhythmic wobble. The slower melody flows along the quick beats, creating a powerful tidal effect on the listener, drawing them deeper into the watery chords of the groovy dance rhythm.
Clever lyrics reference sunny beaches and the joys of youth, familiar to the southern California mantra of live fast, die young (also the title of an autobiography about James Dean and I feel a James Dean-ian attitude in this music), except with less emphasis on the die part. The song uplifts and invites excitement with a reggae-infused relaxation, containing a certain chill-adventurousness for lack of a better word combination.
Listen until the end because the outro breaks out of the heavy pop-induced ride and into a stripped acoustic guitar performance with vocals, coming together in a raw and endearing manner. It’s honest, and ends with I live my life this way, encouraging listeners to do the same, as the sound of a wave fades to the end – all produced and mixed with care. New Beat Fund’s album title certainly must allude to their musical effect: sponge fingers that will make you want to dive in ears first.