Ocean Alley Is Unstoppable

Ocean Alley Is Unstoppable

The band from Sydney is on an undeniable path forward in the music world.

By: Sam Eeckhout

 
Photo by Brandon Sims

Photo by Brandon Sims


The first thing you’ll notice when you head into an Ocean Alley show is the sheer passion of their fanbase. Heading into the historic Vancouver venue, The Commodore Ballroom, fans bound up the 80-plus-year-old stairs in excitement.

There’s an energy. A positivity - tonight is going to be a good time. The six-piece from Sydney have created an infectious and affable brand of rock-meets-modern-reggae that is both introspective, yet powerful.

Talking to the band before the show, their music reflects the band itself, extremely likable and insightful musicians intent on growing their fanbase through what they do best - playing their music live. This dedication to playing their music to the masses is paying off in a major way, and their Vancouver show being moved to the larger (and sold out) Commodore venue is a microcosm of the unstoppable growth of the band.

From the stoic drumming of Tom O'Brien during the heart wrenching “The Comedown”, to the subtle but catchy guitar and bass weavings during “Happy Sad” - Ocean Alley knows how to craft a set. The opening three songs set the tone, luring the audience into a serene vibe.

It helps to have a series of relentless sing-along tunes from their latest Chiaroscuro record. Released last March, the album has more than enough hooks to keep the audience singing at the top of their lungs all night. But, like much of their music, the band creates a slow burn throughout their set. Patient, like a prizefighter keeping its opponent on its toes.

Each note is in its right place and is ultimately anchored by the powerhouse vocal talent of Baden Donegal. Donegal is the perfect frontman for Ocean Alley, never leaping out to obtain look-at-me frontman status, but comfortable letting his vocals do his talking. His vocals are weighty and dripping with emotion, with an impressive range and ability to carry the melody for a majority of the songs.

There are endless possibilities for Ocean Alley as they continue to tour across North America this Summer. The six-piece blends together as one effortlessly, creating an irresistible experience both live and on record. Their trajectory, from touring with Tash Sultana in 2017, to topping the triple j’s Hottest 100 list in 2018 with “Confidence”, to selling out venues across the continent, Ocean Alley’s future is brighter than ever.

For more Ocean Alley:

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