Urge Surfer is a brand new Buffalo-based project created by former coworkers Chelsea O’Donnell (Stress Dolls) and Jordan Smith. The duo used the itchiness of pandemic-era angst to inspire their new musical brew – a blippy and hazy blend of modular synth sighs and squelches with hints of guitar. O’Donnell’s distinct vocals lay on top of the music, often sassy and angsty, offering a unique counterpoint to Smith’s dark and calculated creations.

The duo exchanged hundreds of emails with no real intention other than to write music… Telling, as their music could fit comfortably next to any Postal Service song (who pioneered this email-based approach back in the early aughts). Fans of Purity Ring, Phantogram, and even Grimes will find lots to like here, as well as synth-heads who can appreciate a tasteful use of arpeggiation and custom-curated patches.

They’ve just released a video to accompany lead single, “Cursed.” O’Donnell permeates the track with warm blasts of “a-whoo” while Smith’s modular synth work remains cold, dark, and mysterious. Visually, they’ve curated a perfect accompaniment, a music video full of tarot cards, burning sage, lit candles, and seances.

Even their name feels iconic and relevant to where they were at during peak isolation. As they put it:

“‘Urge Surfing’ is a mental technique to observe and experience an urge without engaging in it. It involves a similar mindset as mindfulness meditation. You observe your thoughts and feelings when your mind wanders. The point is to notice thoughts without judgement or frustration. This makes the thoughts less powerful and reduces your stress.‌”

You can pick up their debut EP, Reach, via Bandcamp. You can find all the different ways to stream/enjoy Reach here as well. Until then, get started with lead single, “Cursed,” via the YouTube embed below,.