5.30PM, a dwindling Melbourne Spring’s day, October 2017
The car turns, casually veering around the wide bend in an elegantly industrial arc.
In the once blazing, now flickering orange glow that bathes the horizon, the omniscient sunshine steadily illuminates the distant peaks.
Then it begins.
The up-beat, almost reminiscent strum, the combination of cords, that acts as a dopamine-stimulant upon the teenage listener’s brain. As the freeway bends to come into view with the setting sun outlining the Melbourne CBD backdrop, the riff is angelic.
Laying on my back again
A soothing voice, a welcoming embrace. The guitar dips, eliciting the crest of the wave before the voice dives once more.
Couldn’t get up
The simplicity of lyrics idealises the mindset of the writer- lying exhausted, devoid of energy, yet purely blissful with the world. A Sunday morning, the bed, the tickling summer breeze. The voice is high pitched – not quite Brandon Flowers or Matty Healy like, but relatable. It’s the contradictory nature of being high in tone yet oddly relaxing, removing the body of stress with crystal clear pronunciation.
As the music flows along, the same sound reverberates. The idea of the setting sun, the hopes of dreams, the simplistic enjoyment of indulging with friends and waking up the next morning “faded” and “wasted”. It’s cheeky in its self-awareness, yet confident in its entitlement and pleasure. It’s the sound that doesn’t just resonate so strongly with a teenager in a developed country – it could easily be inspiring and galvanizing before technology existed, in a primeval pocket of forest where the trees part and the river flows.
Australian delinquents Sticky Fingers frolicked with this sound, yet their alcohol exuberance and wish for a rock and indie substance couldn’t quite represent this. If they were the depiction of the inconsistency of a sweaty summer, then this masterpiece by Ocean Alley is the end of the day, sitting on the beach with loved ones drinking an icy refreshment and peacefully watching the soothing rhythm of the breaking waves. This is pure Zen, a meditative state that is what the sunny season is all about, and what fuels people through hardships and difficulties. This is the art of healing and revelling.
And ultimately, The Comedown by Ocean Alley, in all of its simplicity, is a sound that represents a band full of self-awareness and knowledge, thus never failing to encourage the soothing need for the brain to relax. I slowly rest my head back, as the freeway continues, the city glistening as the peaceful sunset transitions into vibrancy of night.