The Ocean Party - Split
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The Ocean Party - Split




The Ocean Party's fifth album is the aural equivalent of wearing track pants. Just like baggy clothes loosely hug the body in their woolly embrace, so too do the songs on Split accept and acknowledge the cynicisms and dualities of being a young person.

That isn't to say the Wagga Wagga quintet's appeal lies solely with young people. To use an old person's simile, the songs on Split fit together like the patches on a quilt; by themselves, these songs may grow tiring to the listener. But together, as part of a body of intricately woven guitar work and charming vocals, they fit together like a festive bedcover.

However, if the songs on Split sound easy on the ear, it's not because they were easily made. 'Every Decision' criticises the idea that the band can be lumped in with the fashionable slacker attitude of other guitar-music contemporaries. 'Water' and 'Chinese Takeaway' deal with isolation and longing for a friend. The lead single and title track recalls drummer Zac Denton's feelings of displacement, anxiety, and confused societal expectations upon moving to the busy streets of Melbourne.

Split gently rolls over the listener like waves of the ocean; but it's in the grey, shimmering waters between crests that the human soul of The Ocean Party stands out, like a bright orange buoy. Lyrics about craving end of day specials and tubs of lukewarm Chinese food on 'Chinese Takeaway', or regretted words said to a friend on 'Something Stupid', provide a lifeline of emotional connection to the band beyond that which their aesthetic can bring.

While on the surface The Ocean Party may sound like another indie band singing over the reverb-soaked chords of John Lennon's 'Woman', Split proves to be an endlessly rewarding listen. It wears like an old pair of jeans.


Watch the video for the title track below:

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