Scojo & The Keel Surf The Lost Coast

The California surf-rockers make a great escape in their sophomore single.

Scojo & The Keel go in search of the Lost Coast in their new single — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

The California surf-rockers’ moody and immaculately orchestrated sophomore single features an elegant interlace of teardrop slide guitar, keys and violin. The lead vocals here are full of longing, and they are girded by sunny harmonies at opportune times. The song subtly veers into those Spanish-style chord changes the Ventures employed, but the choruses soar upward with feel-good, Tom Petty-style uplift. The song is a sonic snapshot of the Lost Coast, an undeveloped stretch of Humboldt and Mendocino counties in Northern California.

Lost Coast’s musical yin and yang artfully captures its core theme. “Within the surfing community escapism is inherent. Even the act of surfing locally removes the participant from normal life,” says Scott “Scojo” Claassen — vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist, and primary songwriter of the Santa Barbara band. “This song is about the tension between escapism and relationships of all sorts. Escapism can easily lead to avoidance — be it avoidance of personal issues as evident in the first verse of the song or avoidance of pressing social issues, as implied in the second verse.” Scott’s message is gentle but firm as he sings:

“If I had to, I could find a way
To tell you all that it will be OK
But the truth is just a little gray
And I don’t feel like I could mince words today
Not today.”

Scott is a lifelong musician and an Episcopal priest. Previously, Scott did session work in Nashville, played in The Broken West, and had his songs featured in film and TV shows, including Grey’s Anatomy. Scojo & The Keel formed around the church community. Here, surfing and spirituality brought together a formidable collective of musicians, including violinist David Paul, a professor of musicology, and saxophonist Dennis Berger, who has played with everyone from Little Richard to West Coast jazz pioneers. Scojo & The Keel are rounded out by Charles Kernkamp, drums; Ana Valladares Schmid, vocals; Norm Nelson, bass; George Daisa, vocals; and Preston Towers, percussion.

Check out Lost Coast above and below, and surf over to Scojo And The Keel’s Instagram.


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