Thursday, 5 January 2017

Ocean Flaws // Single + Interview

"It was me and you..."
That's how the new song by Essex outfit, '20:22', begins. The band have been quiet recently, and there's a reason for this. They've been honing their craft, and working on new music. This is the fruits of their labour: a building behemoth of a comeback single. One they are proud of, as they told me when I had a chat with them about the new music:

Hamish (lead guitar): "I don't think we've ever set out writing a song with an intention for how it should end up. We see the song writing process as quite organic, so we almost let the song develop on its own accord...we try to serve only what the song needs. We're all chuffed with how big the song ended up. Hats off to our producer Mitch (from the talented The Milk)."

This new single follows on from their last EP, 'Dancing To The Fear', released last February. which I gave 8/10. Metaphorically, that's what they were doing with the EP. Having changed their band name and crafted a more succinct sound, they were throwing out to the world their new design. After dancing with the fear of not connecting, both as a band and in life, they are back with this new single.

The opening of the song brings a feeling of familiarity with their previous work, but not so much that it is too similar, or in fact resembling anything else put out recently. The subtle combination of more psychedelic guitar bands from the 70's onwards really gives their alt-rock sound an edge that no other local band has. Having started with guitar that gives the song a slow-dance feel, the bridge quickens the pace before heading towards the chorus, which also features another local artist, Olivia performing as Fawn, who is well on her way to success with her recent appearance on BBC Essex Introducing. The band explained to me how this collaboration came about:

Alex (drums): "It stems from what Hamish said about serving the song; we felt like the ethereal nature of the first chorus just perfectly set up space for a female voice to compliment Callum's, and in the second chorus it's another layer in what makes that section so big. We definitely didn't include Olivia as a novelty, we did it because it seemed like a choice that would benefit the music. It's just fun when something works with the song and happens to be something you haven't done before."

They have the guts in this song to build a song, but not burst it at the seems with noise (in many ways, as this song does not contribute to the 'loudness war' other bands are prone to - I'm looking at you Arctic Monkeys). The relaxed end to the song rounds off the track nicely, with an anti-Foals ending. Foals can boast themselves to be anti-solo if you have ever seen them live, but they cannot boast to not grab every single opportunity to push a song to its limits. Having not done so here, you could argue it's a crying shame, but you'd be a lone wolf with that cry. The subtle additions of other sound right at the end compliment the keys added - a quote from a mysterious man and perhaps some behind-the-bridge guitar playing.

The band gave me an insight into their plans for the future, which are just as mysterious as the exact nature and meaning of this song: 

Callum (Vocals and Bass): "We've put loads of effort into promoting this new song and have a few exciting things to roll off the back of it. Nothing is confirmed as of yet but keep your eyes peeled as we are continuously writing and overly obsessed with topping previous releases."

Guessing what comes next during your first listen of this song is hard enough, but guessing what Ocean Flaws will do next is harder. They didn't chuck the kitchen sink as this, aside from the gorgeous production, and you have to give credence to that with this outing.


'20:22' is out tomorrow, Friday the 6th of January on iTunes and Spotify.

Check out Ocean Flaws on Spotify below: