1/29 - Hey Ocean! - 'IS'
After countless tours across their native Canada, the infectious spirit of Hey Ocean! has made quite an impact on their fervent fan base.
"We've gotten a lot of marriage stories from fans," smiles bassist and vocalist Dave Vertesi. "One of our songs played while a couple walked down the aisle. Another woman recently told us that our music is only thing that soothes her baby during crying fits. Our music encompasses these big moments for them, and that’s incredible."
It's also not surprising. Three mischievous personalities combine to form a dynamic live presence that keeps concertgoers captivated and on their feet. Whether headlining or opening for the likes of Cat Empire and Bedouin Soundclash, the Vancouver-based trio consistently enchants the initiated and uninitiated alike, leaving crowds smiling every time.
Hey Ocean!—Vertesi, Ashleigh Ball [vocals/flute], David Beckingham [vocals/guitar]—play "pop" in the truest and most traditional sense of the word. On IS , their third full-length album and first for Nettwerk Records, irresistible hooks entwine with dreamy keyboards and crystal clear guitars. Each voice gets time in the spotlight, rounding out the sound with the imprint of three distinct and dynamic personalities.
After two independent releases via their own Pop Machine label, 2006's Stop Looking Like Music and 2008's It's Easier To Be Somebody Else, the group entered the studio in 2010 to begin making what would become Is. The sessions started in Toronto with producer Gavin Brown [Metric] behind the board, but the musicians eventually made a decision to self-produce back home in Vancouver. They spent their time meticulously crafting a collection of songs that nodded to their collective influences from Michael Jackson to Fleetwood Mac. As a result, they tapped into the sound they've always wanted, realizing their vision.
Their diligence and dedication certainly paid off. You can feel it loud and clear on the upbeat and energetic first single "Big Blue Wave." Its crest rises with an infectious hook and captivating melodies.
Elsewhere on the record, "Make Up a New Dance" shimmies and shakes with a snappy guitar and propulsive beat, while the band beautifully captures longing on the poetic and poignant "Islands." Its wistful acoustic guitars sail into a dreamscape that's both comforting and captivating, especially as Beckingham and Ball sing in pristine harmony.
There's a cinematic aspect to Hey Ocean! that's undeniable. As a result, their music has been showcased in hit television shows such as Lifetime's Army Wives, The CW's One Tree Hill, and more.
In 2012, Hey Ocean! signed to Nettwerk Records, who will release IS in the U.S. on January 29, 2013. "We were independent for so long, and we can carry our own weight. Nettwerk dug what we were doing and wanted to be a part of it. That was always what we'd hoped for in a label."
Concludes Beckingham. "Music is so necessary in life. It's there for therapy and catharsis. I want everyone to take something from our album. I hope they dance. I hope they get sad. I hope they get happy. I hope they get inspired like we did by our favorite records."