I’m generally a man of few emotions, but news of the passing of Zac Denton is hitting me pretty hard. I released one LP from the Ocean Party on my label, mostly due to the fact that I kept in close contact via the Internet with the band. Since those days, they’ve pulled out several other releases, all excellent. I was fortunate to host the group on their US tour, and I spent a few days trying to get the band accustomed to Texas. I remember Zac as this giant of a man, with an even bigger smile; he worked the stage like an aged veteran, he was just this gentle giant happy to be playing music with his friends. It’s strange how chance encounters leave lasting impressions, and I’m sure everyone whose spent time with the Ocean Party feels the same great loss. My thoughts are with his brother Lachlan, the band and his family.
In honor of Zac, the group have released their new LP The Oddfellow’s Hall a few days ahead of its release; you can stream it below.
I’ve made no secret of my adoration for The Ocean Party over the years, but every time I feel like I’ve peaked, they go off and release something incredible. Their latest single teases you, sliding in ever so quietly…touch of electronic atmosphere and voice opens; then guitar and gang vocals join before the beat kicks the track forward. The forlorn keyboards and meandering guitar would be enough, but suddenly the tune bursts forth, slide guitar and full band working away. It creates one of those magical moments you get so rarely in pop music, the sort that makes you feel lucky to even be here listening. Their new LP, The Oddfellows Hall, drops on November 9th via Emotional Response/Spunk Records.
There’s a rule here at ATH, apparently. If the Ocean Party want to share a new song, we’re going to share it. It’s honestly one of my favorite groups, period. The diversity in songwriting alone makes the band like a hydra of pop sensibility. This new turn has this sense of longing, particularly in the way the vocal notes curl at the end. Musically, it’s steady and solemn, with slide guitar shooting off through the track’s distance. Plus, the last 40 seconds are definitely a nice extra musical bonus for listeners. The Oddfellows Hall will be out November 9th via Spunk/Emotional Response.
I.B.O., the latest LP from our Aussie friends The Ocean Party just dropped, and we wanted to make sure you had a chance to hear it in its entirety; should only take about 12 minutes. The great thing, and quite a change, is the band challenged themselves to write 12 1 minute songs…SUCCESS! It has some staples from the band’s already accomplished sound, but there are tunes like “Fallin’ Off the Bone” that illustrate a completely different side of the group. Don’t worry if you feel like this just whets your appetite, making you thirst for more…there’s still a few months left in the year, so I’m sure we’ll get another Ocean Party release in some format! You can grab the LP from Emotional Response Records here in the States, or Spunk overseas.
Ever prolific, our faves the Ocean Party are preparing to release a brand new 7″, with a slight catch. Rather than craft a couple of normal hits to squeeze into the format, they’ve opted instead to create twelve 1 minute songs. Below, you get to hear three of those forthcoming 12 minutes; you’ve got 25% of the album in your hands! I think I’m struck the most by the middling minute; it’s a slight bit different than what they’ve been working on in previous releases…maybe a tougher exterior. Regardless, we’re going to buy it, and you should too; it’s being released in July via Emotional Response and Spunk Records.
Snowy and Lachlan are both members from the Ocean Party, so we’re inclined to share any new project the two work on, even if it’s a boy-band pop group. This weekend, they kindly shared a new EP they worked on together, simply titled Six More Songs. At first, I was stuck with this tune “Drunk” on repeat; I love its pop explosion just before the 1 minute mark. But, as it’s Monday, and we need a pick me up, I’ve been trolling “Do What U Wanna” the most; it’s an upbeat track built on a keyboard backbone, playful in vibe and lyrics. Still, don’t stop there, as I wouldn’t post these songs if I didn’t find them rewarding, so go on, get at em.
Lachlan Denton is one of the multi-talented (and hyper involved) members of the Ocean Party, but today we bring you a song he’s worked on with his good friend Emma Russack (who has quite a pedigree of her own). Emma takes the vocal focus on this track, though Lachlan does enter during the chorus with a warm backing line. Musically, the track’s a subdued number, sublime guitar strumming with a piano line that works atop a gentle percussive element. It’s a relaxed vibe, discussing the pros/cons of singledom versus life in a relationship, but for those just hearing the two for the first time, you’ll walk away warmed by the talent presented before you. Look for the two to drop a full-length later on in the year.
The Ocean Party continue their ceaseless barrage of pop hits with the just released Guilt EP, available via Spunk Records. I always love everything these guys pull off together, and with this EP, I’m quite taken by the track “Out;” it has this natural sense of wonderment…listen carefully as guitar lines stretch across the song’s horizon while the vocals hang in the air. All in all, the EP has a solemn feel to it, holding onto a certain emotion that can only be described by listening to all 6 tracks in one sitting. So, now’s your chance, get at the EP below.
For the 8 or so people who read this blog on the regular, you’ll likely be aware of my affection for all things Oceanic, primarily New Zealand and Australia. So, with year end lists in mind, I thought I’d offer up my personal takes on the best tunes to come out of the area in 2017. There’s no particular order, just my sixteen favorites of the year.
There’s even a fun little playlist at the bottom for you to enjoy!
I don’t think the Ocean Party ever stop writing songs together; they seem to be the most prolific act about. Fresh off the release of Beauty Point, the band are back with a brand new collection of tracks for the Guilt EP. The vocals are deep here, especially in the opening 45 seconds, before they change the pace with steady percussion and slide guitar, fleshing the song out. You’ll even get to hear the whole gang chant “please tell me nothing’s wrong,” adding emphasis to an already joyous track. You’re not going to find a single band out there writing pop songs this good, anywhere. Look for Guilt to drop on December 1st via Spunk!