Ocean Beach have just released their new EP ‘Southland Boys High’ to coincide with the first day of the New Zealand summer. This 4-tracker follows on from their July debut ‘Doc Martens and Winklepickers’ (Moving Production), and with the change of season comes a change of focus.
Christmas in New Zealand for many of us means heading home to family - and to memories. ‘Southland Boys High’ is about just that: nostalgia for summers past, and the places and people that made them great. But now you’re older, and sumer can also be a time for reflection - looking back at what's brought you to where you are. And maybe being under the influence of a tipple or two.
‘Southland Boys High’ is a journey. Opener and first single 'Road to Colac Bay' is an atmospheric song of redemption and enlightenment, and the importance of friends and family, inspired by a New Year’s Eve singer Gary Dalhousie spent at Southland's beautiful Colac Bay, overwhelmed by the vast southern summer sky.
The EP covers themes such as former relationships, apathy and anxiety – and a celebration of whenua/homeland.
The 3-piece specialise in songs of shimmering resonance, interspersed with crunchy indie punk/folk. Ocean Beach is a collaboration of musicians from some influential New Zealand bands: Robert Halcrow (bass) was guitarist extraordinaire for legendary reggae band Unity Pacific (alongside Tigilau Ness – Che Fu’s father), and groundbreaking ska band The Managers; Gary Dalhousie (singer and guitarist) was in underground Dunedin band Jetty with Robin Sharma; and drummer Troy-Stanton Kerr was in Pointy Little Stick, alongside a career in the film industry.
With the trio hailing from various parts of Southland, there were connections already in place, but it wasn’t until the musicians of Ocean Beach came together in Auckland that it made sense to form a band. They take their name from the (now closed) Ocean Beach Freezing Works in Bluff, where lead singer Gary Dalhousie’s uncles worked after arriving in New Zealand from Tonga.
‘Southland Boys High’ was recorded at North Western Studios by Nick Abbott, mastered at Auralux by Angus McNaughton, and is out now on Spotify and Apple Music thanks to Dunedinmusic.com. The stunning artwork is by Warren A. Elwin.
Ocean Beach venture to the South Island for the first time as a band this summer, playing in Dunedin and Invercargill with Seafog and the legendary Pretty Wicked Head (and the Desperate Men).
Ocean Beach, Seafog and Pretty Wicked Head December dates
December 27 - Southland Musicians Club, Invercargill – Ocean Beach with Seafog and Pretty Wicked Head
December 28 – The Cook, Dunedin – Ocean Beach with Seafog and Pretty Wicked Head