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Track Review: Surfing Stingrays // So Far Away (Feels Just Like Yesterday)

American writer Dale Carnegie said, “Today is life – the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Live life with gusto”, and the lads of Surfing Stingrays are doing just that. Based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Petya Bouianov (vocals and guitar), Iwan Haensel (bass), Nemo Breukhoven (guitar) and Arthur Ermakov (drums) are striving for the childhood dream of being in a band…guess what, they’re succeeding!

Surfing Stingrays was officially formed in 2016 by two sets of lifelong friends. Petya and Iwan met when they were at elementary school and in high school, the duo met long-time friends Arthur and Nemo. A bond soon formed while they smoked weed behind the school and the lads became family (in the metaphorical sense). It was soon discovered that all four wanted to be in a band and after realising they all played an instrument the dream took shape.

The group spent all of 2017 writing songs and experimenting with different sounds, though it did help that they had similar preferences. In February 2018, the band released their debut self-titled EP showing influences from indie-rock bands like Tame Impala and The Kinks. They released another DIY album, Guilty Pleasure Dream Car, in 2019. The first single of 2020, and the latest addition to their repertoire is ‘So Far Away (Feels Just Like Yesterday)’.

“‘So Far Away (Feels Just Like Yesterday)’ is about us thinking back on our youth when we had way more time to hang around each other and how we miss it. Even though it is only a couple of years ago and we have built up the band, we still feel like it is far away and unreachable.” – Surfing Stingrays on ‘So Far Away (Feels Just Like Yesterday)

A follow-up to Guilty Pleasure Dream Car, ‘So Far Away (Feels Just Like Yesterday) leans from indie-rock ala The Kinks and draws more on psych-rock influences. Written as a remembrance to yesteryear and when things were more fancy-free, the expectation of the track is to be nostalgic. Sonically, Surfing Stingrays have hit it on the head using a synth-driven sound to form a wistful and sentimental ambience. However, the sentimentality isn’t based on sound alone; the lyrics play their role.

The simple and repetitive lyrics enhance the sense of “hanging onto the past” so aptly created by the instrumentation. Petya’s vocals are almost whisper-like, but this haunting element is just want a song of reminiscence needs.

So, what do I have to say about Surfing Stingrays latest single? The fact is that I like it. It draws you in on a cloud of sincerity and cuddles you with a shimmery, encapsulating dreamlike sound – that’s all really.

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