Ocean Alley

Ocean Alley

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About Ocean Alley

Sydney rock sextet Ocean Alley are just a bunch of normal dudes who like a beer and a good time. But they also just happen to have an extraordinary gift for melodic songwriting and a way with a killer riff, which has seen them achieve success at home and abroad. Formed in 2011 in Sydney’s Northern Beaches—a region rich with musical heritage, from stalwarts such as INXS and Midnight Oil to modern-day acts like Lime Cordiale and Flume—Ocean Alley marry classic rock with the kind of laidback feel that comes from growing up surrounded by sun, sea and surf. After two EPs and a well-received debut album (2016’s Lost Tropics), the group elevated themselves to the big time upon the release of Chiaroscuro in 2018. That record featured “Confidence”, a spacious track built around soulful guitar licks which beat global hits like Travis Scott’s “SICKO MODE” and Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” to top triple j’s Hottest 100 countdown. Following that success, the Ocean Alley sound continued to develop, taking in psychedelia, blues and reggae. “We wanted to create a bit of a rollercoaster,” guitarist Mitch Galbraith told Apple Music about their third album, Lonely Diamond. “There has to be this constant interplay between light and dark, between happy and sad.” The result of that approach was a record that truly resonated—on top of a more mature, reflective outlook, the six-piece’s chilled, festival-ready grooves always managed to keep the good vibes going. You can hear that in the widescreen expansiveness that recalls fellow countrymen Tame Impala on “Tombstone”, the rhythm section experimenting with a funk backing on “Puesta de Sol” or Lonely Diamond being infused with the kind of country twang you’d more readily associate with a spaghetti western.

November 2010
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