Ocean Alley's new single is titled 'Touch Back Down'.
When life throws you lemons, make liquid sunshine instead.
At least that seems to be the recipe Ocean Alley followed when they faced their fourth COVID-induced tour reschedule putting their collective energy into writing and recording new music instead.
The band's new single, 'Touch Back Down' complete with shimmery keys and swirling guitars, heralds an upbeat vibe that will set the tone for summer listening ahead of their highly anticipated fourth album.
Ocean Alley's rhythm guitarist, Mitch Galbraith says the sound is less a product of the times and more a reflection of the fun the band had while recording.
"I think we were going to write that record regardless of the COVID chaos and it's a coincidence that it's what people need and want right now," Mitch says.
"We wanted a record that bounces back into high energy after 'Lonely Diamond'.
"Looking back at the laughs and silliness in the studio it was more like a serious session of play for us. I hope that translates through and listeners have big smiles and their feet tapping."
Ocean Alley are looking towards releasing their next album in 2022, with another single ready to release in the first half of the year. "We want to savour the process," Mitch says.
"With the music video for 'Touch Back Down', we stepped up another level in production and are building on what we've done before. We'd like to do that with another single before album release, just because we can."
While 'Touch Back Down' sets a happy pace as lead single for the new album, there's plenty of different sounds to be explored. "I think the overall tone and vibe is fun and upbeat, but by no means are all the sounds as playful and sparkly as this one," Mitch says.
"We try to give listeners a varied experience and also we like to play songs that stray into different genres and styles as it curbs boredom or being stuck in rut.
"We had fun with it and I'm sure everyone will see that it was created lightheartedly and with smiles on our faces."
Ocean Alley is celebrating a decade of making music together in 2021, and while things have changed in their lives, they still approach making music in the same, organic way.
"The feeling amongst the group is that between 'Chiaroscuro' [2018 album] and now we have grown up a lot," Mitch says. "It seems cliché but it's true.
"A few of us have turned 30, we're getting mortgages, shacking up, there's kids around the corner. . . we're all quite content and happy right now and we don't take it for granted."
All of those changes could have put stress on the band, distracting the focus from making music, but Mitch says it has given them room to breathe while staying as close as ever. "It has altered the way we do things slightly, but not in a negative way at all.
"After spending so much time with each other, it's given us fresh energy to have our own space and go home to our partners, our own bed, and to have a week off every so often.
"Change and challenges are good for us because we're not the kind of people who can really sit still. As long as there's something to work on and do better at we're happy.
"The fact that we're feeling that way is reflected in the record, a bit like we're the surfie rats playing the record like we did before anyone knew who we were.
"It feels special to have that spark still and, importantly, it feels like we're in control of our musical career."
And with new music ready to share, Ocean Alley have their sights set on touring with a huge 14-date tour around Australia in January and February, before heading overseas to the USA and Europe. "We're all ready to get back on the bus and back on tour," Mitch says.
"A couple of years ago we were on our second and third time through Europe and the United States and thought we'd be straight back, but it all paused.
"We're really hoping to pick up where we left off, so we hope Europe and North America haven't forgotten who we are."
While getting out on tour post-lockdown might cause some nerves, the band have taken every precaution to stay safe. "We're all fully vaxxed and saw it as necessary," Mitch says.
"I think if everyone follows the advice of health professionals, industry leaders, and people organising festivals and shows, then we can get back into it safely without worry of getting sick.
"We have done our part and are glad so many others are because it means we can get back to live music and giant festivals as soon as possible."
'Touch Back Down' is available.
Ocean Alley 2022 Tour Dates
Fri 21 Jan - Fremantle Arts Centre* sold out Wed 9 Feb - The Riverstage (Brisbane) Thu 10 Feb - The Riverstage (Brisbane) Fri 11 Feb - NightQuarter (Sunshine Coast) Sat 12 Feb - HOTA (Gold Coast) Fri 18 Feb - Hordern Pavilion (Sydney)* sold out Sat 19 Feb - Hordern Pavilion (Sydney)* sold out Sun 20 Feb - Hordern Pavilion (Sydney)* sold out Wed 23 Feb - John Cain Arena (Melbourne) Fri 25 Feb - Thebarton Theatre (Adelaide)* sold out Sat 26 Feb - Thebarton Theatre (Adelaide)* sold out