Interview: Questions with Ocean Alley

Friday, March 9, 2018

Ocean Alley unleashed their sophomore album Chiaroscuro today! The band give us an insight into the album, including the theme of contrast, as well using juxtaposition to show both light and dark elements. Coming up, they're also set to play Groovin The Moo, plus a few of their own shows. Find out where you can catch them on the road below.

Congrats on finishing up Chiaroscuro! How did you approach creating your second album differently than your first? 
Cheers! This time around we spent less time writing the songs and more time in the studio recording. Overall, 3 weeks were spent in the studio finishing off the vague ideas we took in there. It felt less rushed than Lost Tropics but the way we approached it was pretty much the same. While the tracks on our latest are a progression from the last album, we did try to ensure we made a record that we hadn't done before, focusing on exploring other sounds and themes.

A theme of the album is ‘contrast’. How did you want to reflect this on the album? 
The contrast theme is present when comparing the tracks both sonically and lyrically. Optimistic and upbeat tracks like  'Flower and Booze' and 'Confidence' are juxtaposed with more down tempo and pessimistic numbers like 'Knees' and 'Happy Sad' for example. We hope this creates an emotive roller coaster for the listener, riding the highs and lows of life and love.

The title of the album is intriguing. Did visual arts play a role in finding inspiration during the creation process?
Not really, we just used that title as an interesting way to describe the album in terms of a light vs. dark theme. I guess using a term associated renaissance painting and more generally fine art has something to say about the way music also creates a visual landscape in a listeners minds eye.

Light and dark juxtapose, yet both appear harmoniously on the album. Did you encounter any challenges trying to capture both elements? 
The theme of light and dark was mostly rationalised after we had a handful of songs completed. That is the theme of Chiaroscuro, and it only emerged when we had collected together the new material we had been working on after the last record. As this theme emerged however, we made sure to nurture the idea as we wrote the last of the tracks.

You’re hitting the road soon for some tour dates plus GTM. What kind of prep goes into planning your live shows?
We are very excited to tour with GTM. I think it will be our first complete touring festival we have done! As for our live shows, we will be spending more time than ever rehearsing our new material and thinking about the extra things we can do with the stage to put on our biggest and best show. Apart from that it's business at the front, party at the back as usual.

Has there been a live show that has stood-out the most?
Our shows over New Years just gone were incredible. Falls Festival in Lorne and Rhythm and Alps in New Zealand had awesome vibes and great crowds. We love playing live wherever it is. It's great to see new places and meet new people. I think every new show we play always stands out from the last.

What would be your dream venue to play a gig?  
The bigger the better. Wembley, Madison Square, Sydney Opera House would be cool too. We'll keep dreaming anyway.

You can purchase Chiaroscuro here or stream it via Apple Music.

You can catch Ocean Alley at the below shows:
14th April - The Tivoli, Brisbane (SOLD OUT)
15th April - The Tivoli, Brisbane
21st April - The Enmore, Sydney
19th May - The Forum, Melbourne
Tickets are available via the link