Nada Surf is an American alternative rock group formed in 1992. The New York band consists of Matthew Caws (guitar, vocals), Ira Elliot (drums, vocals) and Daniel Lorca (bass, vocals).
The band is best known for the song “Popular” from their 1996 album High/Low. The song reached #11 on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and propelled the album to #63 on the Billboard 200. Each of the verses in “Popular” are extracted from the 1964 guide “Penny’s Guide to Teen-Age Charm and Popularity” by former teen television actress Gloria Winters - and is sarcastically spoken - initially in a calm, deadpan voice that gradually builds Kinison-style in teen angst and rage.
The follow-up effort, The Proximity Effect, failed to garner much attention. The band explains on their official website:
Nada Surf recorded The Proximity Effect in 1998 with Fred Maher (Luna, Lou Reed, Matthew Sweet). It was a mighty fine record. Elektra Atlantic], claiming they “didn’t hear a single,” asked the band to go back in the studio to hunt for one. As this was months after they’d handed the record in, the band refused and were dropped. It’s pretty safe to say, though, that Elektra didn’t appear to be “listening” very hard. The Proximity Effect was released as scheduled in Europe. Critics loved it and fans bought it. Elektra still didn’t care, but the band still did. So after wrestling the rights back, Nada Surf released The Proximity Effect stateside in 2000 on their own label, MarDev Records, and toured accordingly…