Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Listen Up: It’s Hey Ocean! @ Marianopolis

Photographs taken by Ashley Walling

Vancouver native band, Hey Ocean, made a Marianopolis pit stop on Tuesday, April 21st during their two-day stay in Montreal, one of the many cities along their Canadian tour. The band performed to Artsfest’s high standards and beyond in the newly art-ified and improved Student Lounge before heading over to Peterborough, Ontario.
Amongst an intimate audience, the inimitable group was brought together by the collaborative efforts of 2nd year social sciences student, Stav Nitka, and Student Animator, Adam Reider. Although the crowd was smaller than what the modest band has grown accustomed to, the number was pretty impressive considering the eventful day Artsfest offered. With the limited audience in mind, students were able to gain not only a clearer view of the indie band, but also a better musical experience.

Hey Ocean kept the crowd of students keyed up and on their dancing feet with their eclectic sense of musical style. In the single performance, the band also showed off just how musically free they were, introducing a variety of instrumentals. Energy, without a doubt, was the last thing that lacked in Hey Ocean’s performance. Newest member of the band, 20 year old Daniel Klenner kept the show alive with his endless drumming, perseverance and energy. David Vertesi and his undeniable sound allowed songs to flow more easily with his unmatched base playing and harmonizing low-key voice. Lead guitarist, Beckingham was able to maintain his connection to the audience through his enigmatic and somewhat comical presence. While, lead singer, Ashleigh Ball, even give a side-show for students when participating in the somewhat provocative and questionable dance moves of the Artsfest Panda Bears. It’s therefore not so surprising that there was an undeniable electricity which flowed from the band to the audience thanks to the group’s charismatic performance. Thanks to event organizer, Adam Reider, the show went off without a hitch. Without a doubt, this event brought new fans to the Hey Ocean front.

As for what’s to come from the band, Beckingham says fans should anticipate a Spring ’09 album release, although the official release date is still unknown. From this yet-to-be-titled album, fans should expect a different amalgamation of musical textures as well as a more prominent harmony and instrumental-based theme. Big plans it seems for the Vancouver-based band. David Beckingham explains that the future might also hold a record deal in Japan.

The story behind their rather peculiar band name is derived from a “day of yelling at the ocean, ‘Hey ocean!’ so the waves would get smaller so [they] could surf,” as Beckingham and Vertesi explain. However, apart from having a nifty band name, the group also seems to have something more to offer than your regular more mainstream commercial bands don’t; namely copious amounts of talent. Conversely, Beckingham and Vertesi seem to think that where other bands seem to be “more directional with the sound they present, [Hey Ocean] is not limited to a certain style” and remains open, allowing themselves to “take in everything” in order to achieve a unique musical sound. As Beckingham points out, the band’s style is granted by a diverse array of musical influences such as Jazz, Classic Rock, Motown, and Hip-Hop.

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