Surreal Nation
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Surreal Nation

Rehoboth Beach, DE | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Rehoboth Beach, DE | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Alternative

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

May
04
Surreal Nation @ Dedham Square Coffeehouse

Dedham, Massachusetts, United States

Dedham, Massachusetts, United States

May
03
Surreal Nation @ The Rough Draft

Hamden, Connecticut, United States

Hamden, Connecticut, United States

Apr
25
Surreal Nation @ Hard Rock Cafe Boston

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Music

Press


Hailing from Delaware, Surreal Nation has grown leaps and bounds as an artistic unit since their first formation and now, settling on a five piece lineup, the band seems to have discovered their optimum shape. Fronted by powerhouse lead singer Nikita Yvonne, also known as Nikki Nation, Surreal Nation immediately present themselves as a different musical flavor than our ears are accustomed to in the alternative indie rock vein. Their songwriting definitely occupies its own sphere and bites with the genuine bite of a point of view with some of its own to say. The band’s influences rise through the mix throughout I Know Better’s five songs, but never in such a way that you can say the band’s imitating anyone. Instead, they’ve learned their lesson from music they admire and transmuted it through their own sensibilities, talents, and experiences into something truly their own.

The improbably titled “Would You Do the Honor of Becoming My Mexican Divorce?” is a title full of dark comedic cynicism and the song does have some of that, but it’s also an intensely human experience both musically and lyrically. The arrangement is the musical equivalent of a quick fist, tight and focused, yet peppering the listener with its merits. The title song makes more use of the band’s two guitar attack than we heard with the opener and its coupled with a rock solid rhythm section push that keeps this tune close to listeners from the first and spares us nothing. Nikita Yvonne’s singing is a song in, song out highlight of the EP and this cut harbors one of her best performances from the release. “I Can Feel the Night” shows how adept of a singer she is. It’s a much more obviously commercial minded track, but Surreal Nation deserves props for achieving that variation on their sound without ever sacrificing any substance and Yvonne’s singing has a bright airiness, married to a dash of soul, that immeasurably improves an already fine song.

The aforementioned soulfulness comes more to the fore with the EP’s fourth track “Hangtime” and the sensitivity enlivening her singing is a marvel to hear while the band turns in one of the EP’s most nuanced performances. It pairs quite nicely with the final song on I Know Better, “Spirit is Silent”, and this last compositions spotlights the band’s lyricism and intelligent approach to the craft in a distinctly different way from the earlier cuts. It rounds off I Know Better in a very satisfying way and established followers of the band will turn away from this release certain Surreal Nation are now locked into their ideal sound and configuration while first timers should be refreshed by a band with such a vigorous identity all their way that still push all the expected buttons and more. It may be only five songs and none of them particularly long, but Surreal Nation’s I Know Better is a winner. - No Depression Magazine


Surreal Nation is a group of indie rockers from Delaware that made the transition from folk duo to full band and managed to keep an amazing sound, which has a lot to do with their spectacular singer. Some musical duos stay duos forever, but Nikki Nation and Paul Joseph decided they wanted to fill out their sound. They did this by turning their duo into a five-piece band.

Joseph is the guitar player for the group, while Nation is the amazing vocalist that lends her powerful chords to all of these amazing songs. It took them a few years to “grow” the perfect band, to find the right pieces that would create the musical sound they were striving for. They did that with the addition of Jackson Vari on lead guitar, Kevin Curry on bass, and Gene Nelson on drums.

Their upcoming EP, I Know Better, is available for pre-order right now through their website. Why should you care? Because this is bound to be one of the most talked about indie albums of the year. This isn’t their first EP, but it’s the first I’ve heard and I’m head over heels for it.

"Would You Do Me The Honor Of Becoming My Mexican Divorce" is the first song on this EP. I was intrigued from the moment I read that name. For one thing, it’s like one of the longest song titles I’ve ever seen. Long or not, this song starts the album off on a great note. Nation’s vocals are absolutely amazing, throughout the EP, but this was my first opportunity to hear them and be utterly impressed. Not only do they have a powerful female lead, but she is backed by a group of extremely talented musicians that create a full sound to keep you focused on these songs as they play.

“I Know Better” is full of amazing lines in the lyrics. I especially loved, “I know better than to open the door and let you walk back in.” Been there before. I noticed it in the first song and it continues into this one that this album has a rich southern feel to it. In some strange way, it reminds me of The Refreshments Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy, an album that has held up well over the years (in my opinion).

“I Can Feel The Night” has a pop sensibility that makes it a really fun and pleasant song. The lyrics seem to reflect on life and how we grow. This one steps away from the vibe of the first two songs but remains a great track. It allows you to see that this band has a talent for creating songs that can stand alone and fit various genres.

“Hangtime” started and I thought my phone was ringing. Tricky tricky. Post “Hello,” the song has a tinkering light beat leading into some delicate guitar before the mellow lyrics kick in. I like Nation’s smokier vocals on this song. The change in her sound makes this my favorite song on this album.

“Spirit Is Silent” finishes everything off with another slower rhythm song and some lighter vocals from Nation. This song has a lot of feeling in the vocals that almost brought me to tears. It’s a beautifully done sad love song. “My spirit has gone silent in the absence of you.”

Whether they’re making love songs, pop songs, or simply sticking to an alternative rock sound, Surreal Nation has a sound worth talking about. Well written lyrics and a talented set of musicians, and Nation’s amazing pipes come together to create something special. - Beat Magazine


If indie rock is your thing and you dig a band with a strong female lead, look no further than Delaware’s Surreal Nation. This band is a powerhouse, and their upcoming EP, I Know Better, is a force to be reckoned with.

Surreal Nation is Nikki Nation on vocals, Paul Joseph on guitar, Jackson Vari on lead guitar, Kevin Curry on bass, and Gene Nelson on drums. The band started as an acoustic folk duo, with Nation and Joseph, but they filled out the band over the years to create something amazing.

The EP starts off with a song that has way too long of a title, “Would You Do Me The Honor Of Becoming My Mexican Divorce.” It’s a strong song to start with though. It gives you a true taste of Nation’s vocals, which sound great. The band is amazingly talented and give this song such a full and rich sound.

The title track, “I Know Better”, is a slow song with an amazing beat. “I know better than to open the door and let you walk back in.” Best lyrics ever. This song shows the songwriting talent within this group. Both of these songs really have a “south of the border” feel to them that truly adds to their appeal, giving them a really creative and interesting sound.

There are more songs on this album, which you can preorder through their website. It’s worth any price they put on it. - Side Stage Magazine


Surreal Nation delves into a masterful blend of indie rock and dream pop on the shimmering “I Know Better EP”. Vocals rest at the heart of the everything, radiating with a great warmth. Layer upon layer of sound intermingle in a perfect way. At times the lovely storytelling lyricism feels reminiscent of Beat Happening’s charming ability to create warm, inviting, fully-realized worlds. Guitar work has a laid-back jangle to it, a perfect embodiment of garage rock’s intimate spirit. Drums possess an emotional quality to them, with rhythms balancing the hopeful quality that informs the entirety of the collection.

Quite playful the EP opens with “Would You Do Me The Honor of Becoming My Mexican Divorce?”. Barreling through with tremendous energy the song rushes by in a strange, Pixies-like blur. Things slow down considerably on the laid-back groove of “I Know Better”. Over the course of the piece Surreal Nation lets the entire thing build up, letting everything grow until it becomes all-consuming. Easily the highlight of the collection the song has a timeless quality to it. Full of giddiness “I Can Feel The Night” possesses impeccable 80s style jangling guitars that help drive the piece forward. Intimacy comes to define the jazz-inflected quality of “Hangtime” while the piece rocks back and forth. Thoughtful with a sense of yearning things come to a close on the heartfelt “Spirit is Silent”.

With “I Know Better EP” Surreal Nation craft a colorful world that positively radiates with optimism. - Skope Magazine


Delaware based indie/alt rock band Surreal Nation has evolved, during its short existence, from a four to five piece act and some of that developed is well reflected by their EP release I Know Better. The five song collection features some startlingly individualistic songwriting quite unlike anything else you’ll likely hear from similarly themed music acts. Guitar, naturally, is the center of the band’s musical universe, but vocalist Nikita Yvonne (Nikki Nation) gives Surreal Nation a distinctly different texture and pulse than many of their contemporaries share. The production values governing the EP inform the performance quality without ever attracting undue attention to itself and Surreal Nation comes off as a band who has played with each other for many years thanks to their unmistakable rapport. I Know Better is, indeed, a knowing effort full of intelligent rock songwriting bristling with attitude and unique humor.

“Would You Do Me the Honor of Becoming My Mexican Divorce?” is, certainly, an unwieldy title, but it’s laugh out loud funny as well. It begins I Know Better with oodles of attitude that comes honesty rather than some half hearted pose and does a surprising job of integrating Paul Joseph’s and Jackson Vari’s guitar into the song compositionally rather than asking it to lead the way. The rhythm section of bassist Kevin Curry and drummer Gene Nelson are the real engine of this opening number and their electrifying interplay keeps the arrangement hopping from the first. Yvonne’s singing is, naturally, a key component as well that sweetens the stew and, yet, gives the song added punch as a whole. The title song takes on a couple of different faces during its run and Yvonne delivers a stellar, knockout vocal performance that keeps up with the song’s changes in tempo and texture.

“I Can Feel the Night” has a stronger, more overt commercial lift than the EP’s first two songs and drummer Gene Nelson distinguishes himself once again with an especially ferocious performance, precise yet relaxed, and intensely rhythmic. The exuberance in Yvonne’s vocal is equally invigorating. The penultimate tune on the EP, “Hangtime”, finds Yvonne’s voice excelling once again and taking on an almost Stevie Nicks-like sound. This tune runs a little under four minutes long, but it unravels with the patience of a much longer tune and has a warm, delicate sound despite the strong presence of guitars and drums. The same delicacy extends itself to the final song “Spirit is Silent” and their poetic, mid-tempo grace gets over so well thanks to the meditative mood behind the songwriting, its intelligence, and the surehanded talents of the singer and players alike. Surreal Nation’s I Know Better marks a significant step into the future for this developing outfit and, frankly, it sounds like they have truly found their sound going on from this point with the release of this new EP. - Gashouse Radio


As if the opening song title on this EP from Delaware’s Surreal Nation wasn’t intriguing and appealing enough for first time listeners, the high energy and uplifting, organic warmth of the instrumentation almost certainly seals the deal. Would You Do Me The Honor of Becoming My Mexican Divorce?, a song that proudly and boldly introduces the I Know Better EP, is as colourful and melodically infectious as any great punk-pop hit from the past couple of decades. Interestingly enough, this isn’t the staple diet on the project. Even with the move merely to track two, the title piece – the mood and underlying sentiment of the songwriting shifts in a completely new direction. That element of intrigue is alive and kicking, and with every lyric and every moment of emotion and melody, there’s something exciting and addictive to embrace.

The title track is a huge song, not as instrumentally layered as the opener, but big in a passionate and striking sort of way. The presentation of the lyrics has a hypnotic effect, the sort that has you following the imagery along and all the while contemplating the depth of the concept and its relation to you and your life. It bears listening to more than once for the entire truth and artistry of it to really connect in a lasting way, and it’s more than worthwhile delving in for that. A definite highlight.

I Can Feel The Night keeps things evolving further, offering up a notably pop-inspired energy that comes with a certain poetic and melodic softness. The song lays the leading vocalist’s performance quite prominently within the mix; you can hear the intricacies of the emotional journey as the whole thing progresses. There are so many lyrics here that once again it feels like a song that needs more than a single listen to fully immerse yourself in it. That’s one of the great things about this band actually, their creative expression has an authenticity to it that offers no apologies and nothing but realness – real music, real ideas.

Complacency is nowhere to be found on this project. Hangtime turns on the soulful, spacious, riff-led delicacy of a partly acoustic, incredibly raw piece of jazz-infused folk-rock. The song builds in intensity throughout, but as is the case with the majority of this project – the sound is beautifully organic. You get a genuine sense of what it would be like to witness a live show, and for those who live locally or happen to stumble upon the chance; that’s undoubtedly something to check out in the coming months. You can easily enjoy the musicianship and movement of the music throughout, in just about any setting, though if you choose to – you can take on the additional blessing of these unpredictable and thought provoking concepts.

Spirit is Silent brings things to a finish with a gentle folk-rock or ballad-like track that gently closes the curtain on what has come to pass. The leading guitar riff and the melody line, fused with the lightness of the beat and the purity of the leading voice, makes for a calming and memorable end to what is a notably colourful and unexpectedly versatile collection. An exciting release from a talented and uniquely thoughtful band of creatives. - Stereo Stickman


The five songs included on Surreal Nation’s I Know Better establishes the Delaware five piece as one of the sharpest alternative rock acts working in the indie scene today. Vocalist Nikita Yvonne (Nikki Nation) is a singer with rare musicality and a natural wont for artfully expressing emotion, but the grit and gravel she can whip up with her voice matches up nicely with the rock style the band works in. I Know Better has a songwriting point of view that’s Surreal Nation’s own and never suffers from indulging hoary clichés or pouring old wine into new bottles – instead, they employ a point of view all their own for even time tested subject matter that imbues the songs with a surprising level of freshness. I Know Better’s track listing shows focus and the brief release unfolds for audiences in a dramatic, but never overwrought, way.

Their predilection towards unique, even a little dark, humor and tastefulness comes across clearly with the first song “Would You Do Me the Honor of Becoming My Mexican Divorce?” but, despite the title, there’s genuine pathos in the song that the music gives great immediacy to. It’s a rhythm section propelled tune and the two headed musical beast of drummer Gene Nelson and bassist Kevin Curry are among the EP’s most abiding strengths. Curry’s massive bass work on the title song “I Know Better” is another memorable moment for the EP’s bottom end, but Jackson Vari and Paul Joseph definitely flex their guitar muscle in a more customary way with this performance. Yvonne, or Nikki Nation, really throws herself into these first two tracks with equal amounts technique and abandon that achieves a unique power at once fresh, yet recognizable. Her emotive powers are considerable and she has a voice seemingly capable of taking her anywhere she wants to go.

The pop snap driving the tune “I Can Feel the Night” is very different than what’s come before on I Know Better, but not so much so it strikes a discordant note on the release. The singing really makes every area to impart as much substance as possible to the release and Nation’s voice has an inspired quality different from the earlier tunes. The final two tracks on I Know Better are their most affecting. “Hangtime” has a surprisingly soulful vocal quality linked up with its lean and muscular alt rock backing and the song benefits from that streamlined musical treatment while the finale, “Spirit is Silent”, has dueling rousing and reflective moods that the music accentuates and gains much from, arguably, Nikki Nation’s best singing performance on the EP. Surreal Nation has found their path with I Know Better and the potential they realize on this new release whets appetites for a full length album. They have something all their own to say and an unique way of doing it. - Indie Music Reviews


Securing a focused and unified sense of purpose and drive with their collaborators can be a challenging process for creative and emotionally driven musicians who are eager to share their sentiments with the world. But the recently formed and multi-faceted quintet, Surreal Nation, which is led by singer Nikki Nation, has crafted genuine and emotionally-driven noir songs together for its upcoming third EP, ‘I Know Better.’ The five-track album, which is set to be distributed early next year, grippingly proves that the musicians have naturally and quickly bonded together, and skillfully marked their place in the indie music world.

The natural chemistry between the musicians in the band, which hails from Smyrna, Delaware, highlights their courage and resolve throughout ‘I Know Better.’ The record, which was powerfully written during some of the group members’ darkest times, proves their determination to succeed in improving themselves and achieving their goals.

The first enthralling entry on the indie alt-rock EP is the playfully titled ‘Would You Do Me the Honor of Being My Mexican Divorce,’ which chronicles the quest of searching for true love. The up-tempo instrumentation, as well as the innovative vocals from Nation, chronicle the singer’s initial contact with someone she wants to get to know. Driven by inventive drumbeats and an indie-rock driven guitar solo, the addictive and emotional lyrics intensely state how the singer wants to protect her heart, as she desires more from her relationship. Nation relatably declares that she’ll know her love is real when she’s satisfied and fulfilled in her relationship.

The initial punk song then delves into the album’s title track, ‘I Know Better,’ which intriguingly changes tempos several times throughout its nearly six-minute playtime. Starting off with a slower, gentle pace before diving into a faster tempo, the tune notes how the singer has realized that she has made a mistake in getting into the relationship. The song acts as motivational anthem for women who are determined to take control over their lives again after they leave abusive relationships. The instrumentally layered and pulsating entry features Nation intensely stating that she won’t make the mistake of letting her former partner back into her life. The record’s sophomore effort is the perfect declaration of independence for women who refuse to let themselves be taken advantage of in relationships.

‘I Know Better’ than transitions into the track, ‘I Can Feel the Night,’ which once again proves Surreal Nation’s ability to authentically switch between genres. Influenced by the punk and Rock and Roll sensibilities that heavily influenced the genre in the ’80s, Nation effortlessly evokes the sound of such new waves vocalists as The Motels’ Martha Davis and The Buggles’ Trevor Horn. As one of Surreal Nation’s standout entries on its latest record, due to its poetic, melodic and intricate vocals and instrumentation, it highlights Nation’s authentic maturing in life.

Following ‘I Can Feel the Night’ is the tranquil tune, ‘Hangtime,’ which features a more relaxed vibe. Nation reflects on the thought-provoking time between when a situation ends and then things begin to fall apart. The soulful, raw and acoustic vocals and instrumentation that the band creates are powerfully raw, as the members try to determine how to contend with unpredictable concerns.

‘I Know Better’ ends with its best entry, which is titled ‘Spirit is Silent.’ The song features a stunning mix of jazz, folk and Indie Rock guitar riffs and drum beats, as Nation tries to accept the ending of her relationship, and the process of trying to move forward. The track offers a freeing sense of closure, as she notes that her spirit has been given hope that she can move on.

Securing a strong connection with their collaborators can be a challenging process for creative and emotionally driven musicians who are eager to share their sentiments with the world. But the members of Surreal Nation have effortlessly proved that powerful bonds are possible with its haunting and emotionally-driven noir tracks for its latest EP, ‘I Know Better.’ The album grippingly proves that Nation and her fellow musicians have naturally and quickly bonded together, and skillfully marked their place in the indie music world. The alluring record is a versatile collection that highlights the talent and uniqueness of a thoughtful group of creative musicians. - Shockya (Anakando Media Group)


is an Indie/Alt-Rock band that makes their home in the town of Smyrna, Delaware. The band consists of guitarist Paul Joseph, vocalist Nikki Nation, Jackson Vari (lead guitar), bassist Kevin Curry and drummer Gene Nelson. And while the musical ensemble currently creates that Indie/Alt-Rock style, Paul Joseph and Nikki Nation began the group as a simple duo that had been playing acoustic folk music. But with the addition of the rest of the group, the band’s sound began to take shape.

The band’s sound has continued to evolve as the band has gone along. Just recently, the band of Surreal Nation (a blending of the last names of the founding members) has created a new yet-to-be-released EP of music that helps to capture their sound. The new release from the band is called I Know Better.

For their new EP of I Know Better, Surreal Nation created a release that seems to tell a story. Each of the five tracks that make up the EP tell one part of the storyline contained within the release.

The first track on the newest release from Surreal Nation is the song “Would You Do Me The Honor of Becoming My Mexican Divorce?” The track features a strong, driving pace to the music as the vocalist Nikki Nation sings about making contact with someone she wants to get to know. With the clicking of the drumsticks at the beginning of the track, the track shows off the truly ensemble feel of the band. The inclusion of the guitar solo that features a slightly off-key tuning add to the band’s Indie Rock feeling.

Surreal Nation slows the pace down if only for a moment on the title track of the release. “I Know Better” starts off slow for the first minute or so before the band picks up the pace. Throughout the nearly six-minute playtime, the track changes tempos several times going from the original slow, gentle pace to the faster tempo. The lyrics to the song deal with the singer realizing she had made a mistake. Throwing him out, she then says she won’t make the same mistake by letting him back in. “I know Better” feels as much like part of a story as it feels like an anthem for women who are taking their lives back from abusive relationships.

With the song “I Can Feel the Night,” Surreal Nation changes the sound of their music. Instead of Indie Rock, the track takes on a musical approach that is closer to straight-out Rock and Roll that would have felt right at home in the eighties. The timeless feeling of the Rock and Roll from the band mixed with the vocals from Nikki Nation create a track that recalls the music of someone like The Motels who had a few hits in that decade. The “I Can Feel the Night” has enough of a commercial appeal to it that you could still imagine the track being played on Hot Adult Contemporary radio formats today. “I Can Feel the Night” ends up being one of the standout tracks on the five-song EP.

I Know Better from Surreal Nation continues with the track “Hangtime”. With this track, the band takes a more relaxed approach to their music as the song contains a slower pace to the music as well as a gentler feel to the intensity. The track finds the singer reflecting on the whole situation and what she’s going to do. The title of the song deals with the amount of time a person exists between the end of one situation and the time when everything simply falls apart.

The new EP of I Know Better from Surreal Nation comes to a close with the song “Spirit is Silent”. The track features music that, once again, has a gentle pace to the music. This time, however, the slightly jazzy feel of the music creates a definite Indie Rock sound. The gentle pace to the music goes well with the lyrics that find the singer coming to grips with the whole situation with her relationship and trying to move forward. With the gentle feel of the music, the track gives Nikki Nation the opportunity to show off the natural beauty in her vocals. The easy feel of the song and the slight feeling of closure in the lyrics easily makes the song of “Spirit is Silent” feel perfect as the final track of the five-song release.

I Know Better from Surreal Nation is a short, yet enjoyable release. While coming together to create a storyline, several of the songs could easily stand on their own. With the EP only consisting of five songs, the listener is left wanting for more. But sometimes, like with this release from Surreal Nation, that is a good thing because it means we will be paying attention for when there is more. - The Rock and Roll Report


Delaware based alt-rockers Surreal Nation complete their metamorphosis from acoustic folk duo to a rockin’ wall of sound featuring delectable guitar tones, engaging arrangements, and just the right amount of rock and roll attitude.

I Know Better is a concept album which takes us on a journey with the lead female character as she navigates Hollywood during it’s golden age. Let’s jump into chapter 1.

Kicking off with Would You Do Me The Honor Of Being My Mexican Divorce, the band rocks out while the quest for true love outweighs the need for expensive items intended to portray affection. Uptempo, energetic and packed full of stimulating, ear grabbing guitar tones; the solo toward the end of the song ensures us we are in for a rock and roll treat.

I Know Better, the title track, enters our senses with a slower, more mellow vibe but soon picks up the pace as our lead female realizes she has entered some sketchy territory in her new relationship. Driving rhythm, passionate harmonizing vocals, and more of those beautiful guitar tones create a haunting atmosphere. Let’s hope our damsel in distress makes it out in one piece.

I Can Feel This Night transitions us into a more poppy, uplifting soundscape which sets the tone for our lead lady’s descent into despair as night lingers into daylight and a fresh morning. With precise consistency, tasty guitars drive the song through catchy licks, riffs and melodies. The bass really shines on as it resonates through the darkness into the rising sun.

Hangtime enters with crisp hi-hats and snares backing, once again, beautiful guitar tones picking beautiful melodies. With a catchy vocal melody and easily memorable lyrics, this track weaves through smooth transitions which keep listeners engaged, interested, and stimulated. I’m really digging this one.

The final chapter, Spirit Is Silent, is a painful look at a loved one struggling through substance abuse issues. A melancholy vibe is driven by a catchy guitar melody. The soulful and intimate vocal performance aptly pulls us into the moment and the issue in front of us. This song triggers the emotions as it causes you to reflect on those in your life who might be suffering through the same struggle.

Paul Joseph and Nikki Nation met when their sons played on the same soccer team. Years passed but eventually, after hearing Nikki singing some Dashboard Confessional, the creative talents joined forces as a duo playing in coffee shops and at open mics. Desiring a bigger sound, they soon added bassist Jackson Vari.

This is what Paul had to say about the album,

These songs were written over a time period that began with Jackson and I both being in dark places in our lives, but ended with us coming out of those places and being better for having those experiences.” - Mid-Tennessee Music


Surreal Nation congregates a 5-set ensemble of musicianship on their newest EP “I Know Better” meshing deliberate professional sound originating from the folk and rock genres.

The throwback tonality of their music relates to a 60’s aura of instrumentation that engulfs each sound sector while simultaneously paying homage to the alternative facets of music. The indie focal point of their vision is an indicator of the inspirational attitude each band member encapsulates throughout their creative gateways.

Furthermore, the dynamic guitar picking patterns progress in irregular cadence unique to the overall visionary compositions. The complex soundscapes reinforce a powerful essence throughout each portion of the EP that integrates significant ambiance over the singles. In addition, the percussion provided a live set temperament that executes in real time with the rhythmic sections and elaborate arpeggiated features.

The cognizant songwriting faculties this band possesses is unprecedented as they continue to produce timeless songs that transcend the traditional norms of musical achievement. The band’s interconnected nature intuitively composes at a higher level where each member is in sync with each other while maintaining a deeper understanding of their melodious roles within the collective unification.

Surreal Nation is a top-tier group pushing the possibilities of musical discovery to further realms of auditory developments - Artist Rack


The Delaware-based indie-rock band Surreal Nation just got on our radar, and super glad they did. Their dynamic new EP I Know Better marks a high point in their evolution to a multi-faceted five piece band, and reflects a confident, focused unit that’s long past its days of switching off lead singers and trying to find its place in the indie music world. - Left Bank Magazine


Surreal Nation make something completely unique with the first song on their I Know Better EP. There are hints of punk, goth, rock, and even emo and alternative that can all be heard with Would You Do Me The Honor of Becoming My Mexican Divorce?. The guitar work is reminiscent of the surf rock stylings of Dick Dale, a decision which will have listeners bouncing around as they move into the next few tracks on this release.

The titular single from I Know Better is a much slower track. There is a more laid-back, thoughtful sound that opens up the track. A hazy instrumentation and more calm vocals put the first half of this song into Hole territory. When the male vocals join on in, one hears hints of The Anniversary or even Fleetwood Mac. The instrumentation during I Know Better may hide in the background to allow the vocals ample opportunity to shine, but there’s some seriously impressive stuff going on with the intricate bass lines, the narrative contributed by the guitars, and the splashy drums that are playing in the background.

I Can Feel The Night is a fun track that benefits with dominant vocals, a jam/ska-esque styled backing beat, and hints of acts like Bif Naked and Walk The Moon. Surreal Nation is one of those fun bands in that each track comes from a wholly different tradition; the only constant we hear during this EP is that the overall quality throughout never falters. Spirit is Silent, I Know Better’s final track is deliberately paced to take listeners on a journey. The slower tempo, the more stretched-out arrangements, and the pain that fans can hear in the vocals showcases a Surreal Nation that knows precisely how to end this release.

Top Tracks: Would You Do Me The Honor of Becoming My Mexican Divorce, I Can Feel The Night

Rating: 8.2/10

Surreal Nation – I Know Better EP / 2018 Self Released / 5 Tracks / - Neu Futur Magazine


Discography

February 2018: I Know Better (EP) Paul Surowiec, Nikki Nation, Jackson Vari, Gene Nelson, Kevin Curry: Featuring the songs, -Would You Do Me The Honor of Becoming My Mexican Divorce?, I Know Better, I Can Feel the Night, Hangtime, Spirit is Silent

December 2015:  "Wash Me Clean" (EP) Paul Surowiec, Nikki Nation, Jackson Vari

Featuring the songs, -Wash Me Clean, -You You You, -Medicine Box, -Get a Little Closer

November 2014: "Part 1" (EP)- Paul Surowiec, Nikki Nation (no longer in print)








Photos

Bio

Sometimes, it’s just a matter of time before all the right pieces come together to create an indie/alt rock powerhouse. Just a few years ago, guitarist Paul Joseph and vocalist Nikki Nation were performing as an acoustic folk duo at a small restaurant in their hometown of Smyrna, Delaware. Now, with the addition over the past few years of Jackson Vari (lead guitar), bassist Kevin Curry and drummer Gene Nelson, Surreal Nation – whose name blends Paul’s and Nikki’s given last names – rocks throughout their home state and everywhere from Philly to NYC. They’ve also opened for nationally recognized touring artists like Jeff Ruby (Nashville) and Days N Dayze (Houston). Their dynamic new EP I Know Better marks a high point of their evolution into to a multi-faceted five piece band.

Paul and Nikki first met when their sons were on the same soccer team in 2011 For three years, while Paul played keys in another band, they were just good acquaintances while their boys became friends. One day when Nikki was in Paul’s house talking to his wife, he began noodling with Dashboard Confessional’s “Hands Down” and heard Nikki singing along. Impressed with her vocals, he invited her over to sing again. She joined him at one of his gigs and soon the two were a full-fledged duo, playing at open mics and coffee shops before getting the restaurant gig. They performed this way for a year. Then, seeking a bigger sound with deeper grooves in the hopes of gaining more high profile gigs, in 2015, after some auditioning they brought on Jackson Vari. 

Adding Jackson on the bass gave us the fuller sound that we were looking for,” Paul says. “As a duo, I used to say we were like Iron and Wine but with a female singer. Once Jackson joined, we quickly realized that we can be more diverse, and stand apart from other bands, by switching instruments. He and I would switch between electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and bass. At that point, I would define our sound as folk-rock with a blues influence. We recorded our second EP Wash Me Clean as a trio and released it in early 2016. Seeking a more organic drum sound, we added Gene at the end of 2016, and Kevin joined shortly thereafter. Our sound got heavier and faster, and we knew our Iron and Wine days were behind us. The chemistry between the five of us is incredible and has taken our music to places Nikki and I couldn’t have imagined just a few years earlier.”  

Band Members