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Music / Interview
Following an incredible 2018, this year is set to be huge for Northern Beaches indie-psych act Ocean Alley. We chatted to the band to hear all about it.
2018 was Ocean Alley’s biggest year to date. They released their second album, scored a J Award nomination for it, and sold-out shows around the world. Now, after touring around North America and Canada together, they’re set to join forces with Tash Sultana around Australia.
We chatted to the band in the lead up to the triple j Hottest 100 and the beginning of the tour.
What do you love most about creating and playing music? It gives you a way to express yourself, which is hard to beat. This has always been the same since we started playing.
Ocean Alley has been playing around the local scene for years. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned along the way? We’ve learnt to keep it simple and just enjoy playing all the shows as they come.
There were a stack of huge moments for Ocean Alley across 2018 – what was your highlight? The festivals were great – Splendour in the Grass, in particular, was a highlight. Selling out a bunch of shows at home and overseas was huge as well.
How have you found fans reacting to Chiaroscuro since its release? Chiaroscuro has had a great reception, it’s cool to see people enjoying our music and the direction we have taken on the album.
What are some of your biggest highlights/favourite memories from touring throughout 2018? Europe, in particular, was a fun tour in September last year. We got to see some cool spots and play some great shows.
What are some of your favourite parts about taking your music on the road? In short, it gets us out of the house at home. It’s also nice to get to play to new audiences a lot of time.
After touring around the States with Tash Sultana, what are you looking forward to most about hitting the road with them in Australia? Playing some venues that we haven’t played before will be epic.
You’ll then be heading over to New Zealand – what are some fond memories you have of touring there in the past? New Zealand is always great for touring, we really enjoy playing to the crowds over there and it’s been a while since we’ve been over.
After spending most of 2018 on the road, how are you keeping things fresh for this run of shows? Come and see it for yourself, we don’t want to give anything away.
What are your top tour life tips? Remember to drink water and always wake up before the show.
What can we expect from Team Ocean Alley for 2019? A heap of touring all over the place this year, hopefully to some new faces and new ears.
Who are the Australian bands or artists we should be getting on our radar? Crocodylus are a pretty cool band that live near us, give them a listen. It’s a pretty individual sound with a lot of passion.
Ocean Alley will join Tash Sultana on their Flow State Australian tour, kicking off at Unibar Gardens, Wollongong on Friday 22 February. Tour dates and tickets via Ticketmaster.com.au and Ticketweb.com.au.