It’s an interesting thing that a band – in the true sense of real instruments and structured songs, carefully crafted – is born of a writer who began his musical quest in the electronic dance music world. Such is the case of Michael Simone, who is the driver behind Ocean Carolina, a wonderful collaborative from Brooklyn, New York, who’ve dropped a stellar piece in their new album, Maudlin Days.
Right from the word “go”, this is an instant pop/Americana classic; the vocals are warm, the melodies strong and the players are completely on-the-one. Starting with “All I Can Do”, with its subtle, yearning guitar slides and feel, it’s an indication of quality to come. “Words” reminds me of late-period R.E.M. with its acoustic frame but has a straightforwardness which takes the track to a higher emotional level and “If It Burns Out Bright” is pure pop gold – there are almost too many influences I can detect that it’s pointless to try and dissect them all but this is certainly the album’s standout track.
“Something” is one of the rock-ier tracks with a tense one-note riff that stays the course on the verses, then yields to a heavier mix of guitars in a seamless manner; “Little Things” is another upbeat track with delicious slightly-reverbed guitars and great harmonies on the chorus while “Someday Soon” ends the album in a wholly satisfactory manner (and melodically, it reminds me of The dB’s gorgeous “Moving In Your Sleep”). Equally important is the fine production on this album; it has a clean sound that I absolutely love.
A perfect summer album; a terrific gathering of songs that fit one another hand in glove. There is nothing maudlin about this aural delight from Ocean Carolina.
Maudlin Days is available now