The Ocean Party continue their impressive consistency, both in terms of time and quality, with their third release in as many years.
The Wagga Wagga-come-Melbourne five-piece’s third LP is very aptly named. Split is not only the name of the first single, but also a reflection on the band’s newfound approach to songwriting, with each of the five members now writing, and singing, their own songs, lending a sense of diversity across the thirty minutes.
Album-opener ‘Quarter Life’ immediately gets things off to a cheery and upbeat start, with the interplay between bright guitars and oh-so Australian vocals perfectly complementing each other. As with the album as a whole, this infectious instrumentation is somewhat contrasted with more introspective, melancholic lyrics.
That first track focuses on the pressures and uncertainty of youth, with the likes of “I’m wasting my youth away” and “I work all week, I just want a break”.
It’s the interplay between guitars and raw, slacker vocals that define The Ocean Party’s sound, creating a breezy, blissful and irresistible album that yearns for Summer.
The title track deals with drummer and vocalist Zac Denton’s move from the band’s hometown of Wagga Wagga to Melbourne, honing in on self-discovery and attempts to find a purpose, with humble and unassuming lines such as “I’m torn between what I want and what I have to do” becoming effortlessly relatable.
The lyrics as a whole on the album continue with this trend; they’re so straightforward and modest that there’s something for nearly any 20-something to connect with.
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‘Found Out’ is the standout moment of the cohesive album, with gleefully duelling guitars and an irrepressible melody that glides over the top. It’s a catchy, carefree song that exemplifies everything that’s great about The Ocean Party.
‘Every Decision’ features the brilliant line of “The charm is in your faults / As your depressing life makes mine worthwhile”, and ‘Outside’ is led by restrained guitars and lethargic, drawled vocals that complement the sound perfectly.
Split is an album that doesn’t try to be anything that it’s not, and it doesn’t want to be. It’s a blissful, serene and deceptively complex collection of 12 songs from the five boys from Wagga Wagga that only gets better after each listen.