“Surgery” is the first fruit of some new energy from The Nature Strip. The music is tough while the lyric is vulnerable – what is this thing called love? It’s like surgery, actually. A punked-up Motown groove is the foundation for a tough take on mid-1980s jangle – R.E.M. sure, but perhaps more specifically Game Theory, Orange Juice and Hoodoo Gurus. It’s the kind of pop-tastic hybrid we’ve been laying down since our debut album in 2013.
We’ve been on hiatus since late 2018 while their two songwriters pursued other projects. In 2020 Pete Marley released his debut album as Marveline (Savoury-Toothed Tiger, on Marleybone), and John Encarnacao released his fourth as Warmer (Wooden Box with Strings, on Half a Cow).
In May 2021 they got back in the studio with drummer Jess Ciampa and keyboardist Matt Langley to commence work on some new stuff. “Surgery” came together quickly and is their first release since the Past Pacific EP in 2018, which Arun Kendall from Backseat Mafia described as “beautiful, crafted, intelligent pop.”