Surfer Blood Cover Pavement’s “Box Elder” (KEXP Premiere)

Surfer Blood // Photo by Victoria Sanders

Surfer Blood // Photo by Victoria Sanders

There’s history to bands covering Pavement’s “Box Elder.” When The Wedding Present recorded their interpretation of the track from Pavement’s Slay Tracks (1933–1969) EP track back in ’89, it caught the ear of renowned BBC DJ John Peel and helped generate buzz for the release abroad. Nearly three decades later, the song is still resonating with indie rock bands as Florida outfit Surfer Blood takes on the classic song for their new tribute LP, Covers, out now via Joyful Noise.

It’s an apt fit for the band, embracing the punchiness of the original while infusing it with their own 21st century disaffection. Lead vocalist John Paul Pitts’ voice croons over the vibrant and iconic guitar riffs, sounding like he was born to bellow the line, “I had to get the fuck out of this town.” It’s a fitting tribute from one indie rock group to another. Surfer Blood’s affection for the original shines with each chiming rhythm. Stream the track in full below.

Surfer Blood is on tour now with Terry Malts, including a string of dates around the Northwest and culminating with a show at Lo-Fi in Seattle on Jan. 27. Check out their upcoming dates below. The album is only available for purchase at shows or through mail order, so you won’t want to miss these shows.

Jan. 22 – Chico, CA @ Duffy’s
Jan. 23 – Redding, CA @ The Dip
Jan. 24 – Eugene, OR @ Hi Fi Music Hall
Jan. 25 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
Jan. 26 – Bellingham, WA @ The Shakedown
Jan. 27 – Seattle, WA @ Lo-Fi

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