The Only Ocean come from Lompoc in sunny southern California and this is beautifully reflected in their sound. They drip with shimmery sunshine yet harbour a fullness to their sound that displays a darker stormy edge. Genres thrown around at them include indie rock, atmospheric rock, psych-pop, post-punk and acid rock. I think all of those apply quite nicely.
The band is formed of friends who grew up together; Wesley Hill, Dustin Whalen, Shae Kakos, and Alex Burdess. The Only Ocean appear to be quickly becoming one of southern California’s hot new bands.
I’ve been listening to their latest EP Too. Released last month, it is a well-produced reverb-laced cocktail of sound that is the ideal accompaniment to a balmy evening with your headphones and a mojito to hand. It’s a sound that you can lose yourself in rather than have on in the background. Although if it happened to be playing in your 1960s Type 2 VW Campervan while on the way to a surf beach, it would certainly not be out of place.
Tracks on the EP that stand out for me are lead single “Cul-de-Sac”: a fast paced song with some angsty vocals and soaring guitars, and their latest single “So Shy So High”: a fuzzy delight of twangly psychedelia with caramel vocals.
Their previous self-titled 2015 release is also delightful but distinctly more mellow with a little less of the psychedelia haze. The Californian quartet are not mellowing with age – quite the opposite – and that gets my vote. I will be keeping them on my radar while dreaming of the summer sun.