By: Andrea Renney, Arts Editor
A trip to Victoria is a common long weekend getaway for SFU students looking to get out of the city. While the ferry ride From Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay might offer beautiful views of the ocean and the mountains, there’s one thing about BC Ferries that isn’t beautiful: the Wi-Fi. The “connected” network tricks you into thinking it’s going to work during your hour-and-a-half of sailing, but then it cuts in and out as you frantically try to load the Canvas webpages you need.
If you choose not to waste your cellular data by scrolling through Instagram, here are three songs to listen to as you stare out the windows of the Queen of New Westminster, bored, on your nautical adventure.
The first time I heard “Charlie Don’t Surf” (as the outro to a cover of “Mama Said” by 1960s girl group the Shirelles, no less), I definitely did not expect The Clash to be the source of the song. However, the English punk rock band was not one to shy away from exploring different sounds, and their 1980 record Sandinista! (on which “Charlie Don’t Surf” was included) showcased a variety of genres from all over the world. The use of a synthesizer in this track is still relevant in today’s indie music climate, with “synth-pop” becoming an increasingly popular genre label.
Triathalon (yes, that is the correct spelling) makes music that I would describe as dream pop, synth-pop, or “chill vibes” if I wanted to fit in with the cool kids in Southern California. This indie subgenre is heavily represented in the Los Angeles area, but Triathalon is actually New York-based and was formed in Georgia. From their 2014 debut EP Lo-Tide, “Surfing” is an uptempo song dripping with reverb and obvious surf rock influences. The album title is perhaps an amalgamation of their lo-fi sound and beachy aesthetic, as more than half of the songs on the record have titles related to beaches, surfing, and the ocean.
I recently learned that “Sloop John B” is not a Beach Boys original, but rather a folk song from Nassau, the capital city of the Bahamas. Included on the Beach Boys’ 1966 best selling record Pet Sounds, the band’s cover of “Sloop John B” is a perfect example of how incredibly revolutionary and influential Brian Wilson’s production style was for the music industry. The lyrics about wanting to go home while aboard a sailboat are fitting for your BC Ferries journey. If you can get the Wi-Fi network to connect, I recommend a deep dive (no pun intended) into the Beach Boys’ Wikipedia page for some informative reading on Wilson’s musical contributions to the “California Sound.”