The Hang of Music: Officially a Fish

Welcome, everypony. I’ve been wondering for a while if it would be better to get back to my roots (absolute lies, but bear with me), and review some more Canadian music. Because why not.

[Trigger warning for ponies]

So, today I am going to tell you about Hey Ocean!, and their second album, “It’s Easier to Be Someone Else.”

In 10 seconds flat.

It says something interesting about Hey Ocean! that they are described by the Canadian Music Wiki as “one of Canada’s best up-and-coming acts”, and yet they have almost no presence on the internet. I quote the Canadian Music Wiki because they don’t even have a wiki page. This must be fixed!

Even when I was trying to get hold of their albums, it was difficult for me to find even an illegal download for them, and until about 3 hours ago, there were no seeds for their debut anyway. If that’s how much trouble it is for me to download their stuff, it must be nigh impossible for me to actually buy one of their albums. The band are probably making a net gain from me downloading their music, legally or not.

Anyway, most of what you’ll find online about the band will coincide with My Little Pony, the little girl’s TV Show which has taken over the internet hate machine, and taught it to love, as Ashleigh Ball, the one of the lead singers of Hey Ocean! is the voice of two of the mane* characters, Applejack and Rainbow Dash.

And whilst I like the show, it’s a still shame that Hey Ocean! so unheard of online.

From the track above, I don’t know if you can hear it, but you should. You should be able to hear what I’m about to say. Because I’m going to say that this Canadian pop album is very jazzy. It took me a few listens to work out how much so, but it’s there. They have a lot of sax, and trumpet, and for a pop act, that’s a great start.

It also doesn’t hurt that the bass and drums that back them up are really good. The rhythm of their songs is uniformly pretty impressive. Here, have a listen for yourself:

You see?

The lyrics are also far from standard pop fare. (Because even with the cool, jazzy instruments, this is at heart a pop album, and I’m going to have to come to terms with that.) The lyrics of many of the songs are very smart, and very knowing. A number of their songs are about writing the lyrics song in question: “A Song About California” is a good example of this, as is Fifteen Words:

One piece of paper, fifteen words; she writes in perfect tense/”You give until you’ve given up, and you are sure to find a perfect man.”

“Fifteen Words”

And even when they’re not being all meta-y, and the song is a straight up love song, the words are still insightful, compared to the meaningless drivel that these days just tries to find ways to rhyme “I love you” with itself.


Think happy thoughts...

But “Alright” puts paid to that, at least, along with “Too Soon”, the first single off the album.**

You know, I keep having to refrain from linking to various songs from the album on here, because I keep thinking “Oh wow, this sounds really interesting!” and then, whilst I’m considering that, I’ll hear the bridge section of the next song, and want to put that on here instead. The title at the top is a relic, from when I was going to put up “Fish”, and for a long while I wanted to show you guys “Too Soon”. But no, I eventually decided on “Terribly Stable”, mainly because of the cool drums.

If I were to have one complaint, it would probably be that there isn’t much connecting the songs together. They’re each themselves very interesting, but it’s a going a little bit in all directions. But, in this case at least, that isn’t really enough to stop this from being a highly enjoyable album, with some real presence and flair.

Whilst writing this post, I did my usual internet scouring for facts, and I was very impressed to find this video of Ashleigh Ball herself. For the people who haven’t been turned off by the tonnes and tonnes of ponies so far, I hope you enjoy this.

Man; next week, I feel I should review something manly. Like Monster Trucks or AC/DC.

* Yes, that is how it’s written. Honest to god!

** As far as I can tell, wiki not being able to help me.


Posted on September 22, 2011, in Music, The Hang of Music and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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