With their seventh album about to drop, The Ocean Party couldn’t demonstrate the shift in their lives and the inspirations they’ve felt since last year’s release, Restless, more clearly. Out later this month, Beauty Point paints a beautiful portrait of family, themes of belonging and identity running rife in a panoply of melodies.
Guitarist Lachlan Denton says the band is pretty fortunate to be in the position they are, their balance of life commitments perfectly weighted because all six members have the same goal in mind. “Everyone is so dedicated to music, which is a big help,” says Denton, “We all write songs, we all carry the burden, we all write two songs each and get an album ready to go.
“As far as touring goes, we kind of have a bit of a relaxed policy these days – if someone has to miss a tour, we work around it. We’re adaptable, which is the main thing.”
Watch The Ocean Party’s official video for ‘More To Run’, from the new album Beauty Point:
Adaptable indeed: The Ocean Party’s upcoming national tour in support of Beauty Point boasts several regional performances in places most bands wouldn’t normally attempt to visit. That sense of family and belonging motivates the band’s decision to perform in lesser known areas. “We’re all from Wagga Wagga originally so it means a lot to us to get out to regional places,” Denton says. “A lot of it is selfish – we just love to tour and want to get out as much as we can. Being able to get in the van and spend a good chunk of a month together, that’s super fun.
“Most of us have lived in Melbourne for the better part of a decade and I don’t know, I enjoy the vibe of going to regional towns. It’s relieving, it’s so unpretentious. It’s a bit of a cliché but people are so down to earth, super honest – it’s a refreshing way to be.”
That laid-back atmosphere is evident in the production of the new album. Created on location in Stanwell Park, Denton says that the opportunity to record away from the city and in environments more in keeping with the band’s chill vibes made for something of a holiday. “There’s a real family vibe around there and I guess it reminds us of ourselves in a way – you can almost say the Illawarra has a regional feel to it. The people we’ve met with the label are super warm, lovely people. It’s like a second home for us.
Hopefully the music just talks and everyone sees we’re pretty average people who are trying to be positive but music is our outlet to have a sook sometimes – everyone should be able to do that sometimes.
“When we made this album we thought, ‘We really have to go away and just kind of spend some time hanging out with friends there’. It was sort of partly a holiday – camped out in the van for a week, recorded during the day, hung out with friends around the fire at night, it was just super chill. Ocean Party never looks at touring for just the promotional things, I don’t think we’d keep being a band if we looked at it in such a cold manner; we always want to enjoy everything we do otherwise we wouldn’t do it. Making an album is another excuse to hang out together.”
Whether Denton was aware of it or not at the start of the conversation, The Ocean Party mantra is ultimately ‘all in the family’. It’s safe to say that they wouldn’t have conducted the production and recording of the album with Spunk Records if the label weren’t able to get on board with that very natural vibe of theirs.
“It’s hard to know where we’d be if we hadn’t found ourselves in that situation where we’ve been allowed by Spunk to do what we do, how we do it, on our terms and in such a warm environment,” Denton says. “[For] a lot of people it’s a hard slog to get their album out but we’ve managed to surround ourselves with the right people and it makes it ten times easier. I feel it’s a pretty special thing we’ve got with everyone who’s involved.”
I enjoy the vibe of going to regional towns. It’s relieving, it’s so unpretentious. It’s a bit of a cliché but people are so down to earth, super honest – it’s a refreshing way to be.
Beauty Point expresses a sense of identity, belonging and family among the six members of The Ocean Party. It’s a little introspective and perhaps a little introverted, because they are making it about the band and their collective. So how does The Ocean Party manage to embrace fans in to the family and share with them what they’re expressing with their new music?
“I feel like if you’ve followed us this long, probably, you would naturally get it,” says Denton. “I don’t think we’re a band who’s outside the communities we visit. We invite people into our lives, in a sense. If we go somewhere and people want us to be there and we sense that, we get on their level.
“I can’t say there’s any deliberate thing we do musically to invite people in, but hopefully the music just talks and everyone sees we’re pretty average people who are trying to be positive but music is our outlet to have a sook sometimes – everyone should be able to do that sometimes. I’d like to think we invite people in in a way that they feel they can do what we do themselves, that they can be inspired.”
Beauty Point is out on Friday August 18 through Spunk Records. You can catch The Ocean Party as part of Volumes Festival alongside Gold Class, Body Type, Straight Arrows and many more on Saturday August 19.