The idea for this post was given to me by my friend Thomas Johnson. Since talking to him he has done a post on top 10 songs to work out to. I suggest you check out his blog. http://soundofvinyl.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/top-10-songs-to-work-out-to/
This is my personal top 10 surf songs. Some are songs that are about surfing, some just remind me of surfing for various reasons. It may just be the vibe it gives or because I’ve listened to it on the way to the beach, or maybe because it’s been stuck in my head when I’ve been out in the water.
Music is something that’s very special to me and combining these two passions only seems right. So in my humblest opinion these are the top 10:
Freedom – Jimi Hendrix
This song always reminds me of the waves. The feeling of paddling as it builds up and then the screech of the guitar molds together with the feeling of dropping in and tearing up a huge wave. The sense of freedom you get with surfing and this appropriately named song just gel together so beautifully. It’s truly intoxicating, Jimi was a genius for sure and this will always be a song that will haunt me in the waves.
In The Midnight – Langhorne Slim
It’s been a while since I’ve heard this song. It always reminds me of getting up early and travelling to the beach. My surfing buddy Alex Smith recommended this band to me. He would put the album ‘When the sun’s gone down’ on and I fell in love with this song. I’d find myself playing it over and over again whilst paddling around in the surf.
All Night – Damian Marley Ft. Stephen Marley
When I was younger Alex and I used to go skating nearly every weekend. We spent the summer listening to loads of reggae, especially anything by on of the Marley brothers. We still put these songs on when we’re in the car on the way to the beach. This song just seems to fit for me as it reminds me of riding waves and concrete. Although it’s not related to surfing at all, it’s such a good song with a brilliant vibe to it, for me it’s the same vibe I get from surfing.
Cant Keep – Eddie Vedder
It’s not surprise that Mr. Vedder would turn up on this list. A long time musician and surfer he knows exactly how to capture the feeling of the waves. This song itself is mesmorising and the video helps capture this perfectly with the choice of images it uses.
The comforting feeling of the ukulele strummed at a fast pace and accompanied by Eddie’s golden voice just works beautifully. Its a song that makes me think of the times when the sea becomes calm and you just drift in the sun waiting for the next wave in between sets.
Nervous Breakdown – Black Flag
The build up as it bursts into the song keeps you pumping and fighting through the swells. You feel like a bullet from a gun as you come firing out of this insanity and drop into the wave. You’re “going berserk” as you start cutting back and tearing up the waves. You know you’re going to feel it the next day when you’re surfing to something like this.
Gonna Be A Long Time – John Butler Trio
If you can think of a summery song, I’m always interested. John Butler has been known for simple songs and some of the most complicated crazy licks that your ears will ever hear.
This is definitely one of his more simplistic songs and coincidentally one of my favourites. It’s from the trio’s latest album April Uprising. It’s the sound of summer and the beach to me. Sitting on the shore and watching the waves, just relaxing with some beers until you feel that you have become music.
My Wave – Soundgarden
The haunting and peculiar introduction could be nothing but Soundgarden. It is the unique sound that fans have fallen in love with since the late 80’s. My interpretation of the meaning is that it’s all about doing what feels good as long as your not bringing anyone else down. This to me is the exact philosophy to surfing in crowds. In the words of Chris Cornell “Keep it off my wave.”
Ocean of Confusion – Screaming Trees
Charging waves to this beat leaves you with the image of a crazed coke head on a freak out with a knife. The sound completely engulfs your aura and nothings left but a possessed shell riding waves like nobody’s business. It is soon apparent that the pumping percussion becomes hypnotic with this post psychedelic sound from the 90’s. I love the Screaming Trees and this is a song that brings the feeling of waves and sun.
Come Let Go – Xavier Rudd
With a soothing offbeat rhythm that transports you to a tranquil paradise. The feeling of floating on the ocean whilst the waves slowly drift you out into the silence of the sea. This song has to be in the top ten as it really does just make you want to let go, and leaves you completely mindful. All that maters is the moment you’re living in. Xavier Rudd is a genius and I suggest if you haven’t listened to him then you definitely need to check him out.
Amongst The Waves – Pearl Jam
This has to be number one for me. It may seem a little cliche but It really just takes you straight there, the feeling of just “riding high amongst the waves.” For any surfer they’ll know exactly what i’m talking about right now.But regardless of wether you surf or not it’s still an incredible and intense song. I could get all descriptive and use a colourful range of language to describe this one to you, but to be honest you should just listen to it instead of reading what I have to say on this one.