Five Opinions Regarding Surfer Blood's Alleged Swim on Brian Eno's Coattails | County Grind | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


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

  • 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

  • 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:

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jeff Stratton
Contact: Jeff Stratton

Latest Stories