We first wrote about Oceanator last spring upon the release of their first single, ‘Nowhere Nothing’, and now Elise Okusami is back with a seven-song EP that displays her versatility and genre-hopping sensibilities.
The aforementioned single opens the release, starting out as “a slow, warm folk song sung in a tone somewhere between forlorn and contemplative” and escalating across its length into a fierce, grungy rock song that signs out in a “maelstrom of noise.” This coupling of introspective reflection and boisterous intensity quickly establishes itself as the Oceanator trademark. ‘Baby Won’t You’ is completely different sound-wise yet established from the same spirit. It’s something to do with anger, and something to do with strength, and something to do with the frustration borne of always having to be angry and strong.
“So don’t try to tell me your gun isn’t fucking loaded
‘cause you still brought it out to scare me.
And I don’t need your comments or your so called compliments
so please won’t you fucking spare me
When you and your friends scream at me from your open car window
When i’m just trying to ride my bike
It’s not alright”
Which isn’t to say the EP is seven variations on a theme. Okusami’s versatility circumvents the problem through sheer imagination and range. ‘Afternoon’ and ‘Sunrise’, although bouncy pop songs on the surface, contain enlightening lyrics full of hopes and expectations rather than realities. The prospect of these versions not coming to pass provides an implicit desperation and sadness, and gives the songs texture and depth that goes far beyond anything that could be described simply as “pop”. Thus, the tracks both expand the Oceanator horizons and avoid undermining the other songs on the release. Conversely, ‘I Don’t Mind’ and ‘First Sight’ are restrained folk songs, the former containing a cynical sort of honesty, the latter allowing a certain degree of romance into the cracks of a failing relationship, both songs stylistically apart form some of the album’s other tracks, but made of the same pure elements.
Closer ‘Fall Back Down’ is the polar opposite, a long, brooding track which eventually tops the noise and intensity of ‘Nowhere Nothing’. It’s a fittingly powerful end to a great collection of songs.
So if I fall all the way back down, I’m taking you with me.
If we have to be underground, then I don’t wanna do it alone.
Everything coming down around us, crumbling at the slightest touch
Take my hand, we’ll go out together
EP is out now and you can grab it from the Oceanator Bandcamp page.