Every now and then a new band comes along with a sound like they’ve just discovered how to bottle summer in a jar. You know what I’m talking about, you put the record on and suddenly you feel like you should be cruising up the coast with your mates looking for the next wave. It’s no surprise then that a band like Ocean Alley hails from Sydney’s northern beaches, the interesting thing about them is the way they’ve distilled all of their varied influences into a sound that is theirs alone. At times there’s a familiarity there, something you can’t quite put your finger on, yet you connect with it instantly.
With Ocean Alley there’s flourishes of psychedelia and definitely some bones of classic rock creeping into that laid back groove. Sometimes that groove takes on a reggae beat with vamped keyboards, but then moves seamlessly into a strident riff before moving into a dreamy psychedelic guitar motif. It’s all there, often in the case of just one song like their latest single Lemonworld.
Despite the song’s dark overtones both lyrically and sonically its DNA is still well entrenched in their surf guitar roots. Often it’s the spaces that you leave in a song’s arrangement (ie: what you don’t play) that creates a compelling atmosphere. These guys have got something and it’s definitely worth a listen.
The band’s debut album Lost Tropics was preceded by 2 earlier EP’s (In Purple and Yellow Mellow) and following their successful dates in Oz and NZ they head to Europe in June – just in time for the northern summer.