Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Thunderous Goodbyes

When I think of The Oceanographers, I think of beautiful melodies over rich textures creating an image and feeling of warmth in your soul. Their debut album, "Thunderous Goodbyes," is a perfect collection of their sound in one album. I've heard them live on many different stages, but I've always wanted to hear their sound as they hear it. With this album, it's like looking through a window into their brains. Everything makes sense and is so colourful and rich that you can't help but fall in love with it.

This album is all about texture and dynamics. Huge thundering drums, then a split second later, the light strumming of a few notes and a beautiful vocal melody. There's a certain charm in the tone of the vocals. Such an honest, straight from the heart voice. No fancy bells or whistles over his voice, just straight as he sings it. His connection to the lyrics is quite masterful. A lot of catchy hooks that get stuck in your head in these tunes. Also, leaving lots of breathing room in these songs allows each phrase to sink in before the next one comes along. 

The instrumentation is quite spectacular. Ranging from overlapping melodic hooks with thick delay, to a quiet strumming of a chord. The lead guitar always supports the theme of each song with a set of notes that either becomes a hook or simply loops in the background adding texture. The rhythm guitar is the foundation for the whole band. If you stripped everything away, you could still play the whole set with just an acoustic guitar and vocals. I always enjoy albums like that. Giving the listener a chance to potentially play these songs without having a whole band. With the instrumentation, I actually hear tastes of Kings Of Leon and Explosions In The Sky. The bass holds everything together with simple lines that really lock into a groove. It's fairly hidden in the mix of this album, so, it takes a bit of a backseat. However, its importance is never diminished. The drums add more texture overtop of everything with great cymbal play and tom work. The drums also add all the depth to the dynamics with super tight hits and stops. The whole sound of the band seems like a wave of collective sound that washes over your ears. Each wave being slightly different, the give and take feel are very memorable.

This album features 9 songs with just over 30 minutes of music. Most of the sounds are radio length. My favourite track would be "Moves Like An Ocean," due to the aggressive drums and building guitar lines. This track really adds a lot of tension before it releases into some hauntingly beautiful notes. The whole album sounds fantastic. A great emotional journey, and a glimpse into the minds that make up "The Oceanographers."

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