Surrounded are one of those bands that I always find myself telling other people about. And it is not only because they are so good, but it is that they are so incredibly underrated. The Vaxjo, Sweden band’s 2003 debut, Safety In Numbers was truly an unheralded gem of an album. The band plays a gorgeous brand of atmospheric indie rock that touches on notable bands like The Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev and Sparklehorse. Hopefully, The Nautilus Years won’t suffer the same obscure fate of Safety In Numbers.
The Nautilus Years follows the same path as Safety In Numbers and for good reason. Surrounded is a band that only gives subtle hints at what they entail with each listen. Safety In Numbers was an exercise in patience but worth every glorious minute spent searching and listening until that glorious moment of realization. The Nautilus Years is the same triumphant experiment done over again and I would not have it any other way. Marten Rydell’s lyrics remain incredibly obtuse and his voice touches on the weariness of Sparklehorse’s Mark Linkous. It certainly can be argued that the music is what truly carries Surrounded to their angelic heights. While it might sound understated, the band crafts such incredible melodies that are enveloped by their own rich instrumentation. The music accompanies Rydell’s soft whisper perfectly. No matter what the volume, when the music of Surrounded hits you, the mark is permanent.
Surrounded are a band that might be destined to live in obscurity. They occupy a space where music and the mood it creates is the most important aspect. Surrounded’s music is meant for a dark late night or a foggy early morning. So, I beg you, put the headphones on and listen to The Nautilus Years. If you exercise patience I promise the magic will occur.
RIYL: Mercury Rev, Sparklehorse, The Appleseed Cast