#AMReviews: "Bad Human" by Surf

Updated: Aug 16, 2019

We’re all living our lives and trying to find our ways through this world, making mistakes and breaking hearts along the way. That doesn’t make us “bad humans”, does it?

The twenty-year-old Atlanta artist Surf projects his recklessness and high energy through his fifteen-track debut album “Bad Human”. The album explores love, depression, heartbreak, drugs, and the yearning for some form of happiness.

The album explores the darkest depths of young spirit and expression including all feelings that consider us to be “bad” people. The things that we typically partake in are either bad for us, other people, or our health, but we do whatever we can to be able to feel something in this crazy world of ours. “Hate Myself” starts the album off as Surf reflects upon the negative effects of a past relationship and how it has affected his mental health. All the mistakes he’s made plus the things the other has blamed him for has caused Surf to look at himself negatively. This leads into “Valentine”, a track exploiting the detrimental toxicity of that past lover.

“Fuckin' with that girl, that's suicide. She the type to make you lose your mind. / Then she come around, sayin' it's alright. Alright, alright.”

The album enters a high energy rise with the tracks “Glitter”, “Hercules”, and “Akimbo (ft. Shingo)”. Confidence, drugs, designer fashion, and reckless behavior powers through this section of the album, with bass-induced production and kinetic lyricism.”Mama Proud” and “Guardian Angel” are more sentimental tracks expressing love & protection from those who he keeps close to him, providing safety and guidance along his path.

The contrast between the tracks in the albums plays into the wild and random thoughts of Surf. “Blue Cheese” is about wanting to acquire wealth, whereas “X and O’s” is heavily drug-induced track based on feeling and mental escapism. “Motel Love Story”, “Nina”, and “Hard” asserts Surf’s dominance. With disrespectful lyricism and disregard to how others may feel about him, Surf allows himself to speak his mind with no filter.

As the album comes to a close, Surf becomes more vulnerable and allows his deepest feelings to be exposed in the ending tracks “Missing You”, “Running”, and “Feel So Alive”. Surf speaks on the need to be in the presence of a past lover to numb the pain, running away from prominent issues to avoid pain and grief, and feeling alive from the acceptance of someone else when the world is against him. Surf battles between showing his scars to the world and hiding them from a world who says that his scars make him weak. He goes through a warzone of heavy emotions that he subsides with somewhat unhealthy coping mechanisms. In the end, he is only showing that he is human and feels pain just like everyone else does, and that does not make him a “bad” person.

Collectively, I enjoyed this album from Surf. As the first impression of his work and what he can deliver, “Bad Human” made me a fan and I can’t wait to hear more from him. The production value is incredible— credited to Eris, Nasa, Eli Brown, VVD, and himself. The subject matter is relatable, being able to touch the hearts of fans from all over. In summary, Surf suffers from depression and anxiety and copes with it however he sees fit. No matter his decisions, his main objective is to achieve happiness. These things do not make him a “bad” human, but a human alone. It is up to him to decide to change his ways to allow him to achieve more beneficial happiness.

Stream “Bad Human” right now via Apple Music + Spotify.