Ocean Music | Wake EP | Premiere

Alt-rock band Ocean Music is a project started by Richard Aufrichtig that has completely evolved into a full project with members Sam Galison, Rebecca Kushner, Kevin Schwartzbach,  and Alex Thrailkill. Debuting their latest EP today, Wake, the title is a simple way to say what these songs do to your spirit.

It’s got a very New York Alt vibe at first, following in the Yellow Ostrich DIY sort of way vs anything overly traditional sounding like, Dear and the Headlights or The Snake The Cross The Crown, but what it has in common is the feature of an expressive and emotional male vocal, over a multitude of notey guitars–playing their own melodies to create a body of texture–working in the background rather than out front.

Which, if you were ever in a band like that or love that stuff, maybe you likely know that all that guitar playing wasn’t to say, “hey look at us we’re playing guitars!” in the first place, but the opposite: to trick the listener into another state. Aufrichtig is a clever writer, as soon as the swell happens, he’s running off singing in a rhythm, reciting vivid details of love and distant places, the effect is transporting.

“Talking To The Moon” features this great dual guitar work, it’s probably the most removing from the Alt-ness of the rest. “When I Was A Setting Sun” features some amazing grooves over high-tone guitar, that is a constant appreciation through out Wake. There’e plenty of discord featured on the lead guitar in warm distortion on it as well, nothing like a wrong note grinding against a right one, fighting for space; ultimately the song resolving by falling into an almost lull. Coming in at 8:19 minutes, it’s a great way to end a three track EP, and provide some language to understand the conceptual and emotional ideas being conveyed here, for the listener there’s a sense of inoculation within these songs, “When I Went To California,” simple little lines like, “show me something absolute” take on the task of creating a world within a tiny batch of songs. I’d say masterfully so. Either way, like most days, Bukowsi explained it better, once saying, “An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way,” I couldn’t agree more.

When I spoke to Richard Aufrichtig he recalled this about the journey to get to the Wake EP,

“Over the past year or so, Ocean Music, which had started as a loose and ever-changing collective of musicians working on my songs, morphed into a committed band. Though I am super proud of the two Ocean Music EPs that I released in 2014 and earlier this year, this is the first collection of songs under the Ocean Music name that feels truly collaborative. While we’re putting plans together to record a full length album in the spring, we all felt like it was important that we have something out there that actually represents what Ocean Music sounds like today. The Wake EP was tracked almost completely live (except for keyboard parts and background vocals) in one day at the Mochi House Studio in Dumbo in early November. We hope that it captures some of the energy that we’ve gotten in touch with at our live shows this year.”

You can join Ocean Music at Mercury Lounge this Sunday evening as they play songs from Wake and the music volt, with Boston-based Crumb supporting.

{Click here to download the EP}