By Cory Davis
Do you remember that time you saw one of your soon-to-be favorite bands perform for the very first time? I do. Our family once traveled around the state of Florida to various paddleboard events so that I could serve as the official announcer for each race. Tough gig, right? My friends at YOLO Board had dialed me into the paddleboard world from this angle, and Jeff Archer, YOLO Board’s founder, challenged me to create a new online stand-up paddleboarding radio station. Having a broadcasting background, I said, “Yeah, let’s do it.” So for about three years, I ran an online radio station that supported the growing sport of stand-up paddleboarding — locally, and nationally — from the Battle of the Paddle to the Payette River Games to the Florida Cup in Treasure Island, Florida.
The post-race party at the Florida Cup was at a place called Gator’s, located on a channel that led to the Gulf of Mexico. The band at the event was called The Hip Abduction, and one of the band members is an avid paddler. Our kids danced on the stage with them that night, and a few more times over the years since then.
When you think of iconic beach music, you certainly can’t go wrong with Jimmy, Bob, Kenny, and more Bob. Many minds instantly jump to reggae or island music. There’s also a TropRock genre that you might find playing on repeat in a tiny retro-cool tiki bar. But it’s very rare to find a band that doesn’t fit into any of those categories yet instantly transports you to the beach every time you hit the play button.
The Hip Abduction’s uniquely beachy sound makes them a perfect addition to our daily 30A Radio playlist. It’s not reggae. It’s not jam. IT’S NOT JACK JOHNSON. But one thing is certain: there would be a void on 30A Radio without their music and influence.
We recently caught up with lead singer David New after one of his surf sessions in St. Augustine, Florida.
David: At the outset, we played other people’s music, while drawing from our influences, to see what we are good at. When you start off at these bars, no one cares what you play; they just want to hear Jimmy Buffett or Bob Marley. So if you’re going to play original music, you better play music that gets in their head.
We started off reggae, then sort of jam, then indie pop, but really I don’t feel like we fit in any genre of music. If you fit perfectly into a genre, it can be huge for you because you can open up for the biggest band in that genre and everyone will love you. We tend to feel more island indie. It’s kind of reggae, but not really. We are just inspired by that sound.
I live 800 feet from high tide in St. Augustine, Florida, and I’ve never written this much music in my life. I’m definitely affected by it. It helps me clear everything and be empty and soak in my surroundings. But interacting with the places I go to can be more meaningful for songwriting. I can take inspiration from something I saw or someone I met. Even a single word I heard on a trip can spark a song.
Writing positively helps me stay positive. But I don’t know if I can write that way without having been in a dark space. It’s hard to stay positive on social media all the time. But if you just hold your hands out as wide as you can and smile, it can change your mood just a little bit. The physical act of trying to stay positive day to day… we all need to do that.
You are what you eat. I listened to Van Morrison, Dave Matthews – timeless music that doesn’t fit in one timeframe.
If you can write timeless music, it’s always there for you, and there is more soul.
I listened to reggae, country, Americana, Bluegrass, everything. But ultimately, I found that I was influenced by timeless music.
2020 taught me what’s important to me, and it’s not living in a van touring my ass off all the time. I’m a hermit, and in a weird way, I needed that reset time to surf, work out, and write music. It usually takes me three years to write one album. I wrote two albums in 2020, *Seafarer* and *Infinite Dream.* And it’s what I wanted to listen to. You always want to consider what’s popular at the moment, but I decided to write music that I wanted to hear. From start to finish, it’s the best album we’ve ever released. When we go on tour in 2022, we could play the album from start to finish. It’s that good.
Maybe it’s telling you to travel more. Or having conversations with people. A call to ease relationships from the past. You have to live a timeless lifestyle. Time doesn’t wait.
“Reggaemylitis” by Peter Tosh. When I lived in the Bahamas, that was it.