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Surprises’ Brooks Paschal (of Early 00’s Emo Vets Sullivan) Reflects on A Crazy Night In Central America on New Song “El Salvador”

‘Natural Disaster’ LP Out May 31 on Spartan Records

“…big, booming choruses, hook-laden verses but with contemporary sensibilities that give the listener a well-intentioned wink and some worldly wit.”- PopMatters

“You might know Brooks Paschal as the vocalist for early 2000s indie rock group Sullivan, but these days he’s fronting Surprises. Think a grittier Jimmy Eat World and you’re not too far off the mark.”- The Alternative

“…takes an emo-based sound and maneuvers it into pop-rock/power-pop gold.”- Substream

“…Raw, catchy & volatile…”- Atwood Magazine

“infectious melodies…passionate, melodically woven lines…”- New Noise

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Photo: Taylor Thomas Paschal

Surprises, the solo project of Brooks Paschal, frontman of beloved 00’s emo group Sullivan, has unveiled another track off his upcoming LP ‘Natural Disaster,’ which will be released on May 31st via Spartan Records.

Stream “El Salvador” on New Noise Magazine:

Brooks says, “The back story for El Salvador was too damn crazy to actually write about specifically. I was co-writing an album in Guatemala with my friend Brian Howe. He’s a bit of a prankster, and a night out on the town turned into me being held in an underground bunker that housed an illegal prostitution ring in Central America. I still have no idea how i survived that night. When I finally sat down to write the tune I wanted to paint the picture of the landscape without giving away the details. There is this Spanish James Bond shit that happens in my head when I hear the song. The ultimate goal of the song was to have some fun and to reflect on a crazy night that could never be explained with words alone.”

‘Natural Disaster’ is now available for pre-order at:

All pre-orders include an instant high-quality download of the singles “Natural Disaster, “Tell the World, and “El Salvador” and a full album download + the exclusive bonus track “Natural Disaster” (A Capella)” on May 31st.

The first 100 pre-orders also include a 12″ x 12″ lithograph autographed by Brooks Paschal and a limited edition 4-piece Surprises button set.

About Surprises:

“Subconsciously, these songs were there the whole time.”

These words seem like an understatement coming from Brooks Paschal. After releasing three successful LP’s with the fan-adored band Sullivan and dozens of solo tracks over the past ten years, songs seem to emanate from all levels of the musician’s consciousness. However, Paschal’s new project Surprises is something different. It is cathartic, it is reckless, and it is personal — a striking new narrative from a familiar voice.

“The core philosophy of Surprises is: no rules,” Paschal says. “While writing, I’ve never thought to myself, ‘kids won’t like this,’ or ‘people’ will love this.’ In fact, if I do, I stop. If I sit down and try, it’s not going to come out right.”

With instincts driving all direction, Surprises has taken Paschal into personally unchartered territory as a songwriter. Where conceptually all lyrical material for Sullivan was purely fictional storytelling, Surprises delves
heavily into Paschal’s personal experiences. “I’ve never tried to write about anything,” he says, “but I noticed as I sat down, a lot of me was coming out, and I experienced the catharsis that I have always heard other songwriters talk about.”

On most solo records, the fewer-moving-parts approach is sonically evident; however, with Surprises this is certainly not the case. Natural Disaster is a concentrated amalgamation of all the driving, melodic, soaring, and
fragile moments that made Paschal’s previous work with Sullivan so appealing. “I feel all the differences,” says Paschal, “but I don’t know that they all translate to the listener. I think the biggest difference is that the record is all of my sensibilities thrown into the pot to create one thing. Surprises started as an escape for me,” he continues, “with Sullivan, there were certain expectations for sound and structure that I was in love with, but did not want to be defined by.”

The timing for this nuanced stylistic change could not be better. Having both recorded and toured successfully in the early 2000’s, a sonic time period that many young emo/indie bands are now trying to emulate, Natural Disaster is
set apart as an album that is both relevant and mature. Much of the authenticity of the sound can be attributed to all of the production, engineering, and mixing being handled directly by Paschal. “When I started with this batch of tunes, I realized I had tapped into something that I really loved and they all seemed to come from a singular place. I never felt the need to ‘produce’ the songs,” says Paschal. “A great song is almost always a balance of finely tuned ideas and serendipitous moments that can only be created once. I think more than anything, Natural Disaster was the product of years of writing without limits, and finally, my brain had created ‘the sound’ of Surprises.

For the release of the debut LP, Surprises will partner with longtime collaborators, Spartan Records. “There was never a thought of releasing this album with anyone else,” says Paschal. “John Frazier (Spartan Records Owner/CEO) is a gut guy who likes what he likes and the other industry factors have to sit in the back seat. That is exactly what Surprises is to me, so the match is perfect.”

Please stay tuned to for more info about Surprises.

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