West Palm Beach's Surfer Blood fuse sunny surf rock charm with indie rock cool. Guitarist/vocalist John Paul Pitts and drummer Tyler Schwarz have known each other since high school; they started playing together and soon connected with guitarist Thomas Fekete and bassist Kevin Williams, officially becoming Surfer Blood in spring 2009.
They began recording and touring almost immediately, laying down tracks in Pitts' apartment and embarking on four tours in their first five months together. The buzz around the band built quickly as they hit the road with Art Brut
while preparing their debut album. Released in early 2010 by Brooklyn indie Kanine
, Astro Coast was warmly received by critics and introduced Surfer Blood to a greater audience, reaching the Billboard Top 200. Later that year, the band signed to Warner Bros.
, but released the Tarot Classics EP on Kanine
in 2011. Prior to the EP's release, Surfer Blood were pegged to be the opening act for Pixies
' 2011 tour. Working with former Pixies
producer Gil Norton, they delivered their more polished major-label debut, Pythons, in June of 2013. After debuting the new single "Dorian" in February 2015, the band announced that guitarist Fekete was suffering from sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, and was leaving the band. After signing to Joyful Noise Records
, they delivered their third LP, 1000 Palms, in May of that year. Following the late 2015 departure of longtime bassist Williams -- who was replaced by old high-school friend Lindsey Mills -- in May 2016 Surfer Blood reported that former guitarist Fekete had succumbed to cancer. The band's ambitious 2017 album, Snowdonia, was the first to feature Mills and guitarist Michael McCleary. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi