Surfer Blood EP Titled Tarot Classics, but What Does "=]:-(--|--<" Mean?

If you follow Surfer Blood on its official Twitter account, then you must have noticed a flurry of paranormal activity lately. A series of tweets from both the band and its followers have all contained the enigmatic symbol "=]:-(--|--<." According to the band, it is the title for their new EP, titled Tarot Classics, but it was code-named Blairwitch before its release was officially announced.

Because we like conspiracies, we took a closer look at the figure in question and tried to unravel the mystery with some visual interpretations of our own.

In a tweet made by the band, it said that it is a "sad guy with a sweet hat."  This instantly brought this image of Wilford Brimley, who is sad because of his diabeetus, to mind:

Perhaps Surfer Blood is trying to make a comment on the current woes of the financial market, as shown here by the Monopoly man, who is absolutely losing his shit right about now:

While not necessarily a dude, this memorable image from the film The Blair Witch Project shows someone who is definitely sad and most certainly wearing a hat, although not exactly a sweet one.

Montezuma, like most other fashionable Aztec overlords, was known to have worn ornate headdresses from time to time. This painting depicts him with a sullen air about him, which is totally understandable after getting his shit ruined by Spanish conquistadors.

The life of a rodeo clown is a tumultuous one at best. Making a living in a high-stress, highly dangerous field of work can get anyone down sooner or later. Even these cowboys get the blues:

Surfer Blood's next show in Florida will take place September 10 at Club Firestone in Orlando before touring this fall with the Pixies. Its new EP, Tarot Classics, is due to be released on October 25 on Kanine Records. Follow the band's official Twitter at

Tarot Classics track listing:
"I'm Not Ready"
"Voyager Reprise"
"Drinking Problem

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Ryan Burk