Cuter Than Kittens
Isn’t Canada just adorable? They made Beiber, Lavigne, Gosling, Carly Rae Jepsen…the word “eh?” Canada is also the birthplace of Hey Ocean!, an indie pop trio made of sugar, spice and everything nice. Their new LP IS is a precious breath of cotton-candied air, with sixteen tracks that’ll make you dance in your jammies or rot your teeth out – depending on your pop inclinations.
Flautist/vocalist/xylophonist Ashleigh Ball (of My Little Pony voice-acting fame) and guitarist/vocalist David Beckingham have been friends since middle school. In 2005, David Vertesi joined them to form this merry indie bunch – adding bass and even more vocals! IS is their third LP, though the group has a pile of EP and special releases in their “oceanography.”
IS kicks off with an on-trend group holler: “HEY OCEAN!” before launching into the sparkling faerie jam “If I Were a Ship.” Part island-song, part Björkian pop tune, Ashleigh coos “music is love in search of the words.” D’awwww! This is followed up with the very straightforward “Make a New Dance Up,” which is the song-equivalent of making friendship bracelets for all your best friends: all warm feelings, clasped hands and spinning in happy circles. But if all that giddy energy ain’t your thing, fear not: Hey Ocean! has fourteen tracks left to go, and covers a wider spectrum of pop explorations. There’s the Shawn Mullins-y “Give,” with a husky male-led vocal and acoustic groove, dark and wispy “New Love,” with it’s Metric feel, and of course, the aptly aquatic-themed “Big Blue Wave.” “Wave” holds the greatest single potential here: the driving beat and wide-voweled chorus fit right in the current anthem craze sweeping American pop stations (led by loud, screamy and proud fun., Youngblood Hawke and Grouplove).
If cat videos aren’t cutting it and life’s a little sour, sweeten it up with a dose of Hey Ocean! They’ve got cuddles and snuggles to spare.