If you’re a music fan with a pulse, you’re probably familiar with Bob Marley’s famous creed that “every little thing is gonna be alright.” His simplistically optimistic outlook on life has spanned generations, and although it isn’t fair to attribute any directionless optimism to Marley’s teachings, it’s safe to say his positivity has rubbed off on Surfaces. Just like most reggae motifs, the Texans’ 2017 single “Be Alright” invites listeners to slow down their anxiety-ridden lives and free up their clouded souls. The difference with this group however, is they utilize contemporary jazz rap to open up listeners’ minds.
Whether it’s serendipitous or purposeful, including the line “You could be my Lucy, let’s kick it like Charlie Brown” echos appreciation for analogous jazzy pianists like the Peanuts soundtrack masterminds Vince Guaraldi Trio. With that clean and complicated piano as their base, Surfaces adds boom bap percussion and conversational rap to turn what sounds like a Charlie Brown seasonal special into a seat-reclining act of affirmative relief. It’s almost as if Surfaces have taken the sound of an ambient lobby within a pristine hotel, then layered a head-bobbing beat and verbal message to give that classy music some contextual substance.