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Interview with Ocean Flaws



Alternative pop band Ocean Flaws have been taking the world by storm since they were named one of John Kennedy’s “Hot Ones”, on Radio X’s prestigious Xposure show. Following a string of sold-out shows on London’s live circuit, including a support slot with Oasis’ own Andy Bell, Ocean Flaws released their sophomore single 'Spirit Level' in October 2020. The track garnered airplay from Radio X, BBC Introducing, and even landed a spot on SiriusXM host, Eric Alper’s official Spotify playlist. The band’s third single, Touching Down, showcased a more introspective side to the group, and secured airplay on BBC Radio 6 – as well as a place in the Unsigned Guide’s independent music blog.


They are back now with their new single 'Hologram' which is shiny and fun yet full of introspective lyrics about our consumption of technology. I caught up with the band about making the song, the inspiration behind it, and their plans for the future.


Hi, how are you?


We’re doing good! Busy plotting and scheming for 2022


How would you describe your sound to the readers?


A bit like if The Cars grew up in post-millennial Essex…


Who would you say are your biggest musical influences?


We’ve got a real mix of influences from varying genres, such as rock, pop, hip hop and disco. They all find their way in, but in subtle ways - maybe in a bass drum pattern here or a background guitar riff there. There’s a somehow cogent combination of The Strokes, Charlie Puth and Dre, if you trace it all back!


How did your musical journeys start?


Sean and I (Hamish) got put together by our secondary school music teacher, to play guitar at a parents evening. We enjoyed it and agreed to do it more often. We pulled in Alex to do drums via a friend of ours, and Callum came in last, who used to play football with Sean. Our first gig was in our school hall – it was a car crash!


Your new single ‘Hologram’ is out now, congratulations! I really love the blend of electronic and real instruments in the song, it gives a great feeling of nostalgia as well as feeling modern, was this something you set out to achieve when you wrote this song?


We try to steer away from making straight up rock music, because its tougher to sound original, and the competition in that world in fierce. The song actually started with Sean's synth bass riff, so it was easy to differentiate the sound from the get-go.



How was the process of making this song for you? Was it one that came naturally or did it take time to form?


Hamish:

It might’ve just taken one session, which is rare for us, and a strong indication it’ll scrub up well when it comes out the other end. The quickest songs always sound the most natural. When a track demands too much massaging, you can hear it in the final product. The composition of ‘Hologram’ started with Sean’s synth riff – Callum and Alex came up with the melodies almost on the spot, and I finished the lyrics the same night.


Could you explain more about the inspiration being the lyrics for ‘Hologram’?


Hamish:

I read that we spend something like 20% of our lives watching television, or looking at screens. How accurate that figure is, I can’t be sure, but if there existed a drug that could make us this sedentary, it’d be a regulated Class A. The opiating quality of technology is subliminal. It stops us engaging with each other; chairs in living rooms no longer face each other, they face screens. The word ‘Hologram’ in this song symobolises the screen, and our increasing symbiosis with technology.

Do you have a favourite lyric or line from the song?


Hamish:

I’m most pleased with the chorus lyric:

It matters now we live on TV

If that is why we’re here at all

It matters how you sit next to me

When the hologram comes on

It gets to the heart of what the song is trying to say, and – hopefully – stays catchy all the same!

I feel like this song would sound great in a live setting, do you have plans for any live shows anytime soon?


That's very nice of you to say. We're currently preparing for a headline set for BBC introducing on tour – you can get tickets through our Instagram bio. We're also planning a number of live shows next year and hope to reach a few other parts of the UK (watch this space)…


What’s next for Ocean Flaws?


A number of things really. Most importantly, we're heading to the studio again next month to record one of three songs we've written (let the band squabbles commence on that decision!). You can also expect to hear something new as we enter the new year.


And lastly, what music have you been listening to recently? Anything you can recommend to us?


Callum:

Where do I start?! Roisin Murphy has got me into a groove recently but aside from that, I've been digging deeper into the past and enjoying the back catalogues of the Pet Shop Boys and New Order.



Thank you so much to Ocean Flaws for taking the time to answer these questions for us, it's really appreciated. Ocean Flaws are definitely a band to be looking out for, especially after that song, I love it! If you can, go see the band on their tour next year, I'm sure it will be a great night.


Until next time...


Listen to 'Hologram' on Spotify here.

Follow Ocean Flaws on Spotify here.

Follow Ocean Flaws on Instagram here.


All After Midnight links here.


Music submissions and enquiries to aftermidnightblog1@gmail.com

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