The fourth studio album by Surfer Blood, Snowdonia, was released in February 2017 via Joyful Noise Recordings. It’s their first release since 2010’s Astro Coast that lead singer John Paul Pitts has written and mixed alone and finds the band tackling heavy themes like mortality and aging through longer, more complex songs, while still incorporating plenty of their signature pop hooks. Previous singles have included “Six Flags in F or G”, which is one of the darker songs on the album, and “Matter of Time,” a classic Surfer Blood pop song. Snowdonia features the most narrative and autobiographical material Pitts has ever written, with “Carrier Pigeon.” Shortly after longtime Surfer Blood guitarist Thomas Fekete was diagnosed with cancer, Pitts’ mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and began undergoing chemotherapy. Inspired by her illness, “Carrier Pigeon” embodies his attempts to reconcile the love that he has for his parents with not always loving how they choose to see the world. Snowdonia was written specifically with the band’s current lineup and new strengths in mind: emphasizing guitarist Michael McCleary and bassist Lindsey Mills’ vocal skills, Pitts wrote layers of vocals into almost every track and added call-and-response parts between himself and Mills throughout the album.
B-Sides spoke John Paul Pitts and Lindsey Mills of Surfer Blood to talk about the recording of Snowdonia, how the band dealt with the passing of Fekete and more.