Five Opinions Regarding Surfer Blood's Alleged Swim on Brian Eno's Coattails

For a while there, you couldn't read anything about South Florida music without getting doused with a big-ass bucket o' Surfer Blood. Put it this way -- I was living out of the country and still couldn't avoid hearing how great the West Palm Beach junior-superstars were. Pitchfork seemed to drop their name as often as Tiger Woods dropped trou.


But it seemed like every time we saw an online discussion about the band's song "Swim," some nay-sayer would jump up and say, "Nay!" Actually, more often than not, someone would accuse Surfer Blood of borrowing -- heavily -- from the first song on Brian Eno's first solo album, 1974's Here Come The Warm Jets. A selection of Eno-philes have spoken with a range of emotional responses, after the jump. 

  • Shock and awe: "holy shit i never realized how much this sounds like needle in the camel's eye 'til right now. the verses are dead on..." noted akamin on last.fm.
  • Bipolarity: "sounds very similar to Needles In the Camel's Eye, not sure if this is a no brainer for most but i don't, unfortunately,

    listen to brian eno on the reg so this was a big discovery for me. am i

    delusional? regardless, i still like surfer blood.." Sepie posted on brightestyoungthings.com.

  • Fury: On Stereogum, Tigger wrote: "NEEDLE IN THE CAMEL'S EYE. DIRECT RIP OFF. ALL CAPS"
  • Pay up, pals: And on the Orlando Sentinel, Billy Davis wrote, [Surfer Blood] owe a lot more to Brian Eno for "Swim" - like royalties, for instance. It is a TOTAL rip-off of his song "Needles in the Camel's Eye."


Our take: there are similarities. Sort of. To these ears, the chorus sure seems to owe a lot to a little ditty by the name of "Sweet Jane." Just sayin'. What was that Eno always used to say about the Velvet Underground? Oh yeah.

First, Surfer Blood:


and here's the Eno joint:



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