This bodacious foursome is a breath of fresh beach air. Vibrant, intrepid, and all round good blokes, enterprising Aussie band Caravăna Sun diligently construct ocean-inspired rock music, or 'surf rock'. Comprising Ant Beard, Luke Carra, Ken Allars, Alex Dumbrell, this charismatic crew of reckless renegades are a ball of fun. I recently had the pleasure of shooting the breeze with Ant. And, wow. Can I just say, the nerve of this guy. To think he can tour the world with his best mates, singing and strumming his little chords and riffs, at his stupid little sold out concerts. I mean, who's this hotshot think he is? Know what I mean? No? Okay, yes, obviously I'm kidding. But why the sarcasm? Yeah, um, I don't know. But I'm guessing it has something to do with how impressed I was by Ant. Blown away by his eloquence, charisma, and charmingly warm personality. And that's not just cos he's a beach bum. No. But cos this gruffy unassuming dude / dedicated band member / burgeoning solo artist is unexpectedly astute.
One particularly noteworthy highlight of the band's new EP is Come Back - a song dedicated to their recently deceased mate, Jae Hayden, who died tragically. Ant describing their fallen friend as "A beautiful man...was so similar to us in the sense of chasing a life of music, and also surfing and spending a lot of his time living though his passion". Upon unpacking the touching emotionality of this soul-stirring ode, Ant and I discussed the fundamental composition of a song about grief and loss. Ant stating, "I think at the core of it, honesty would have to be THE most important thing, for sure". Subsequently adding, "I think humans, no matter what 'big talk game' people can play, or the way people choose to portray themselves...we all feel and connect on a much deeper level than just the face value of words. ... I think it's the same thing when it comes to art, you know, there has to be a mixture of craft but also openness and vulnerability, and showing that it's okay to have these feelings, and it's important to feel connected to other people..."
There was a host of other topics I also wanted to unpack. First and foremost, what the heck Surf Rock actually is. Being a relatively obscure musical genre, Ant walked me through the core tenets and underlying characteristics of this generally unheard of rock subgenre, at least in my case. Portraying Surf Rock as "guitar-driven riffs". And "rock music (that) is inspired directly from the ocean", as the genre's paradigm, plus the band's overriding source of inspiration. Caravăna Sun's recently released Silver Linings EP was a delight to behold; including the sense of balance I felt across the journey. Ant revealing, "that sense of variety was super-important". Elaborating, "We first led with that Beauty And The Pain track, which is kind of a bit more of an homage to the upbeat stuff, and then to Come Back, (which) is a bit more swinging the other way". Ant himself was equally interesting, including a seeming incompatibility between his laid back approach to life - "I just like places where you can drink coffee and sit in the sun, and just be happy", and utmost dedication to his craft.