The current reigning queens of indie surf, La Luz’s music falls somewhere between the two schools of surf music. While they can certainly rock a wicked instrumental (see “Sunstroke” off their first LP, It’s Alive), they’re also known for adding silky, sweet girl group harmonies and post-British Invasion garage pop organs to round out their increasingly haunting sound. Like the great original surf acts, La Luz’s technical precision is difficult to overstate, and a joy to behold. Bandleader Shana Cleveland swings from mellow riffing to complex, Pentangle-style acid rock breakdowns, while also casually swinging her guitar around her head, layered over drummer Marian Li Pino’s restless, whispery jazz beats. “I’ll Be True,” off second LP Weirdo Shrine is an excellent example of the band’s ability to use surf guitar to add a certain evil spookiness to their songs of twisted love, notably here with Cleveland’s liberal use of the whammy bar.

La Luz

Here is a list of 10 indie surf bands on Bandcamp to soundtrack your summer days and nights, whether you’re landlocked or live on perpetual island time. Unsurprisingly, many of the bands on this list hail from the genre’s West Coast home turf, where surf’s popularity has never really waned, but there’s also groups from as far afield as North Carolina and the U.K. Consider this a shallow dip into the tidal pools of indie surf, a place to get your feet wet before paddling out into deeper waters.


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