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


About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

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