Seattle’s Surf the Pines explore the complexities of a modern relationship through the smooth rock of their debut single “The Runaround.”
Road trip rock is the term given to smooth, rock tracks; easy listening with enough hook to pass the journey, but still mellow enough to avoid distraction. Surf the Pines’ debut single “The Runaround,” proudly premiered by Atwood Magazine, is the epitome of road trip rock.
Oh, let me know if it’s only in my head
Give me the runaround or back and forth instead
Only to walk away
From all the places in your past
Listen: “The Runaround” – Surf the Pines
An evocative introduction, Seattle-based Surf the Pines present us with a polished, eclectic collection of comfortable, acoustic nuances and three-part harmonies. From the first listen, it’s hard not to imagine yourself cruising along the coast; wind in your hair and reflection imminent. There’s a universal comfort in the presentation of this often over-complicated message. Surf the Pines have succeeded in simplifying and compressing their message into the perfect package for easy-listening.
“The Runaround” depicts the complexities of modern relationships; its lyrics hitting listeners from a universally relatable stance. Surf the Pines take the time to explore the art of compromise in the functioning of everyday relationships.
Oh, let me know
Only when the life falls out of me
What ever changes you, I forget
This back and forth with you, I regret
What ever changes you, I forget
Honesty is crying for you
Honesty is crying for you now
There’s a personal touch to the lyrics of “The Runaround,” an undeniable sound of experience speaking through the songwriter. While he heeds a warning to those taking their stability for granted, we can also take the track as merely a light-hearted portrayal of relationship struggles.
With this message in mind, we notice the amusing irony in the later line, ‘It’s only love, for what it’s worth’. This is the final line of the track. After devoting an entire song to the complex nature of love and the lengths we go to salvage it, Leinster strikes the iron with this clever line, labelling it as only love; a smooth conclusion for an overall creaseless track.
Oh, let it go… imitation never lasts
And find another way that catches up too fast
And then we walk away from each other
“What I love about music is its ability to create emotion and for the listener to interpret meaning from – not only literal words – but from the mood of the created sounds,” frontman Shane Leinster comments. “Most people seem to think The Runaround is about the one-sided “run-around” people sometimes receive in relationships. This song was written around the notion that we each compromise in relationships, that we both pick our battles in order to maintain and move forward because the alternative is far worse.” Leinster, an Irish transplant whose pursuit of music found him spending seven years grinding in Los Angeles, finally found a true musical home in Seattle, where he formed Surf the Pines with Bill Ibsen, Bardi Martin, and Patrick Porter.
Leinster continues: “I don’t know how people can have 100% honest relationships. Those that don’t (most of us I imagine) make compromises, hence the line “honesty is crying for you.”Ultimately though, it’s work and working hard pays off, which I tip a slightly sarcastic hat towards in the line “It’s only love… for what it’s worth”. The sarcasm of which, a partner has to decide whether to take issue with – or not! Oh, why are we humans so complicated!?”
The influence of experience is palpable in “The Runaround.” This is apparent not only in their developed and mature sound, but also in the running narrative in their lyrics. There’s a confidence in their message that shines through with overwhelming clarity, a confidence only obtained through countless failure. If you were to take one single message from “The Runaround,” make it: Experience is the best teacher.
So, let Surf the Pines soundtrack your next road trip; whether it be a two minute trip to the shop, or a long stretch of desert plains and colourful skylines.
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photo © Crystal Hoeveler