Ocean Grove released their long-awaited debut album The Rhapsody Tapes today, which has been received with a raft of acclaim for its bold experimentation and creation of their very own sound in what Kerrang! has called an “intriguingly non-conformist debut”. Written, recorded, produced, mixed and mastered in their drummer Sam Bassal’s bedroom, who was just 19 years old at the time, Rock Sound declared “you haven’t heard anything like this”, and the listeners of triple j agreed as The Rhapsody Tapes landed Feature Album of the Week ahead of release.
Welcome to the Odd World, where things happen.
All things considered, there’s one thing that we can all agree on: it’s time for something new. Enter Ocean Grove’s debut album, The Rhapsody Tapes. Odd World Music, in the shape of Ocean Grove’s debut album The Rhapsody Tapes, is a proudly invented genre that describes what happens when frontman Luke Holmes, guitarists Jimmy Hall and Matt Henley, bassist Dale Tanner, drummer / producer genius Sam Bassal and studio member Running Touch put their heads and hearts together.
The Odd World is a space where what is real and what is perceived to be real blend together, a creation of six united misfits to explain the experience of being Ocean Grove.
“The Rhapsody Tapes explores a fascination with a warped perception of reality,” says Luke. “It tells parallel stories that come in waves… and parts of the album are written from the view of a child standing on the edge, looking out into a hyperreality in search of something.”
The Rhapsody Tapes was written and produced entirely by the band in Sam’s bedroom, allowing Ocean Grove endless creative freedom. The album breathed itself out over a series of months and shows that dumping tens of thousands of dollars on expensive producers and studios is less effective than, well, having a preternaturally talented guy (who was just 19 at the time) in the band who can do everything.
Both a self-contained statement on and expression of what’s inside their heads, The Rhapsody Tapes – sonically and visually – was constructed in minute detail by the Ocean Grove collective, with no outside interference whatsoever. Every inch of the artwork, every note of music. Because that’s how the Odd World grows: in the shadows, bravely.
“Although some of the themes we discuss are commonly touched upon by many artists, we hope to present our art in a way that is incongruous with most, and that is the theme that binds all these songs and topics together – Odd World,” explains Dale. “We explore the nuances that come with that freedom and obscurity.”
let us come to a secret misunderstanding
There was no moment of conception for Ocean Grove; at one point they didn’t exist and then all of a sudden they did. With friendships within the band stretching back a decade-plus, they coagulated around shared ideas of art and performance and life. They grew together and treated every morsel of life as more fuel for their fire, expressed on two EPs, first 2013’s Outsider and then 2015’s Black Label, the latter re-released in 2016 as the Sublime Edition with the addition of breakout anthem “Lights On Kind Of Lover”.