Ocean Alley – Chiaroscuro

Tell us a little bit about each of you and Ocean Alley?
We’re all pretty laid back and relaxed, but it’s hard not to be when you grow up on the Northern Beaches. I think that same attitude shines through in our music. We like to keep it pretty mellow and fun when writing new songs.

You’re re-pressing your 2018 album Chiaroscuro, why are you re-pressing this particular album?
We chose this Chiaroscuro because this year is the 5-year anniversary of the record that helped us breakthrough. It holds such a special place in the Ocean Alley story, and we wanted to celebrate that.

Is there a story behind the colourful album artwork?
We wanted to have a bit of light/dark tones incorporated into the artwork with a lot of colour and make it fun. The name Chiaroscuro has a lot to do with the style in which we wanted it to look. One of our good friends Jojo Lee was the artist behind the work.

And the orange vinyl?
We like to change vinyl variants when we do a re-pressing as it gives its own style instead of making them all the same. We thought orange would suit this particular pressing a lot.

What’s a track from the album you would recommend to someone who has never heard your music?
I’d recommend ‘Flowers and Booze’. It’s a fun, jammy song with a few groovy sections. It was a really fun track to record and play live.

Could you pick a favourite track on the album?
It’s a tough one and constantly changing but at the moment I would say ‘Rage’. The flow, the structure, the way it builds and builds… At the time we were writing it was a new style of song and type of construction for us, so we were stoked with the outcome.

Take us back to recording Chiaroscuro (if you can remember back that far)
That time in the studio was a special time for us… we had come off a huge year of touring including our first international run of shows and festival spots. We were feeling really energised about our future as a band, with plenty of material banked up for our second full-length record. We had a lot of fun during the recording as we started flexing more of our creative skills by experimenting with different sounds and styles.

Credit: The Sauce

How did things change after winning the Hottest 100?
Winning the Hottest 100 definitely changed our lives and made us a widely-known band in Australia. It’s a pretty crazy thing to win and we were completely shocked when it happened.

What was the first thing you all did to celebrate?
We had a big party that night at the place we were living in at the time. It was pretty insane!

What’s an Australian artist you would put on after heading out for a surf?
Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Mildlife. Their record Automatic is amazing from start to finish.

Do you have a favourite release of theirs?
The song ‘Rare Air’ is probably my favourite.

Favourite place to go digging for vinyl in NSW?
I do a lot of digging in op shops but that’s always tough to find anything decent. Howl and Moan in Byron Bay is a great record store to go digging through.

Where will we find you on Record Store Day 2023? Instores? Listening to records in peace?
You’ll find us in Maitland performing at Groovin’ the Moo festival!

Keep up to date with Ocean Alley via their Website and Instagram