We’re not talking about the summer sun on the Geelong surf coast when we say it’s sunny in Ocean Grove. We’re talking about the Melbourne nu-metal band Ocean Grove and the release of their third single, ‘SUNNY’, for their sophomore album Flip Phone Fantasy.
Following their ARIA #5 charting The Rhapsody Tapes in 2017, 2019’s ‘Ask the Anthem’ and the October release of ‘JUNKIE$’ marked a new era for the band with the introduction of new member, Twiggy Hunter. ‘SUNNY’ cements that welcome dynamic shift and transition with its melting pot of sound and Brit-pop undertones.
“‘Ask For The Anthem’ was the song to reintroduce the band with sort of a clean slate of thought,” vocalist Dale Tanner explains. “’SUNNY’ gave us a chance to really show off and demonstrate a new aspect and a new angle to Ocean Grove that no one has ever heard of before and it comes with the inclusion of Twiggy [Hunter] to the band. The writing style and the expertise that he brought into the band, we’ve swallowed that and included it in our amalgamation style and I guess it was our first chance of really showing it to the public and leading them into a sound that is quite prevalent throughout the album. I think the singles that we have released so far are quite a good overall indication of the sound to expect from the album and I think ‘SUNNY’ ticked that box of a sector of the album that can be attributed to more of Twiggy’s contribution in terms of songwriting. It was definitely uncharted territory for us but I think it came at the right time and it felt very natural to us and taps into influences of Sam, Matt and my own already. Twiggy was the little push that we needed!”
Along with the single releases, the members of Ocean Grove and their Unified team have curated a Spotify playlist for Flip Phone Fantasy, consisting of the current releases and some major teasers of influential tracks by other artists that correlate to a song off of the upcoming record.
“That playlist was really fun to put together. It was a chance for us to really have a little bit of fun and give a bit of a clue and a teaser to fans as to what to expect in terms of sound and influences. It was actually quite fun to go through track by track and pick out an artist and a particular song by an artist that reflected the mood or the lyric or the song. Each song on that playlist definitely resembles a song off the album. They’re the kinds of artists that we have referenced and who we grew up listening to and have influenced the style of Ocean Grove,” Tanner says.
Many of the songs included are major throwbacks, including the angst-intense stripped back ‘Cemetery’ by Silverchair, ‘Song 2’ from Blur, Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Know Your Enemy’, ‘A Certain Shade of Green’ by Incubus and Pink Floyd’s ‘Breathe (In The Air)’. Tanner says it’s no accident that the majority of the tracks are classic songs from the past century.
“I wrote a note in my phone, ‘Nostalgia is my crutch’, and I think that really resonated with me and I think it’s something that is very powerful emotionally, nothing else can quite deliver it and it gives us hope and happiness and brings upon memories of good times and to kind of insight that through music comes to us very naturally. We’ve made a conscious decision to tap into that.”
Flip Phone Fantasy is set to drop in the coming months. In the meantime get yourself acquainted with ‘SUNNY’, ‘JUNKIE$’, ‘Ask For The Anthem’ and their killer playlist.
Ocean Grove will be supporting The Amity Affliction at The Torquay Hotel on January 18 & 19.
Written by Tammy Walters
Photo by Ed Mason