If anyone were to list some of the biggest bands to come out of San Diego there are definitely a few artists that would make many of those lists. Blink 182, Unwritten Law, and Slightly Stoopid are few standouts. But Grammy Award winning band Switchfoot are another big name, whose music probably best encompasses the sounds of the area.
Formed in 1996, they were quickly picked up and signed to a indie label, Re:think. Under the label, the band put out 3 albums, the third of which, Learning to Breathe (2000) found huge success, garnering a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Gospel Album. Signing to a major label soon after, Switchfoot put out their double platinum album The Beautiful Letdown (2003), which catapulted the band into major success.
Set up to launch their new album with a show earlier this month, singer Jon Foreman unfortunately found himself the victim of a surfing accident, leaving him unable to perform. But like true professionals, the band did what they could to keep the ball rolling, continuing with the launch event as scheduled while pushing back the show itself until February 3rd. The launch, held at the Casbah, was nothing short of a relaxing night for the band and fans alike, as everyone mingled, talk with the other 4 members of the group, and had a few drinks while clutching the Fading West CD and DVD download as their takeaway gift.
The album, explained through their movie, is the product of a world tour that took them through Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Bali, and the influence of the locations, people, and events they faced along the way. From the heartache of a sick child to joyous celebration of life, their songs manifest from some of the most intimate moments of the bands lives, making the album a soundtrack that is both meaningful and relatable.
Opening up with “Love Alone is Worth the Fight,” which is already setting up to be a new uplifting anthem for the veteran rock stars that, along with the following track, “Who We Are,” offers a fantastic sing that’s sure to drive their live shows. Employing more synths and sounds of world music than their previous albums, the album sounds reminiscent of Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto. The most standout track is by far “Ba55,” which with its atmospheric tones and driving bass line, sounds more Radiohead than the Switchfoot we’ve all come to know.
Switchfoot returns to the Casbah February 3rd for the concert. Time to start putting Fading West on repeat now to gear up for the show.