Hey Ocean! is a Canadian West Coast band that’s known for their infectious pop style. Its core members include three Vancouverites: singer and flutist Ashleigh Ball, singer and guitarist David Beckingham, and lastly, singer and bassist Dave Vertesi.
The band can be added to the growing list of DIY artists, they’ve been independent for over half a decade now. They keep a personal handle on all things Hey Ocean!, including releasing music through their own label, Pop Machine—a label created with their friends from the Vancouver band Said the Whale.
Following their 2007 release, Stop Looking Like Music, Hey Ocean! unveiled their album It’s Easier To Be Somebody Else in 2008. They hired indie producer José Miguel Contreras—By Divine Right, Meligrove Band, Lily Frost, The Bicycles—to capture their high energy during the recording process.
“We were wondering, how do we bring us and our energy to an album? Who are producers that do that? For some reason, José’s name came up. There’s an urgency to the music that he records that we thought would work for us.”
In the summer of 2010, Hey Ocean! spent their time working with producer Gavin Brown—Metric, Sarah Harmer, and Billy Talent. When the band returned home, they had a record in pieces but they were determined to finish it. Starting from where they left off, Hey Ocean! began rebuilding the songs from the ground up with bassist David Vertesi producing. A year later, their highly anticipated release is still on the horizon. In the meantime, Hey Ocean! has released the 2011 EP Big Blue Wave consisting of four solid tracks.
Hey Ocean! has shared the stage with the likes of Bedouin Soundclash, Xavier Rudd, Sarah Harmer and Wintersleep.
News about Hey Ocean!
In a cover story titled "Canadian music is boring: Living in the age of enforced mediocrity," Calgary's alternative weekly FFWD has succeeded in, most likely, pissing off vast swathes of the Canadian music industry (and, probably not unintentionally, driving some curious clicks to its website). Beginning with the soft targets of the Arcade Fire, Polaris Music Prize, and its recently announced Short List, the feature moves into a full-on critique of the entire music industry's approach to making, marketing, and writing about Canadian music. Some of its most on-point jabs come at the expense of writers Josiah Hughes (an occasional AUX contributor) and Mark Teo's journo peers: When everything is “good,” everything basically sucks. No one breaks the rules, no one pushes the envelope, no one even tries. The Canadian critics, working hand in hand with other facets of the national music industry, have become the equivalent of over-encouraging parents. Everything Canada produces runs the gamut from good to great. “We’re proud of you just for trying. Also we cleaned your room for you and made you some punch.” Right? It gets better, and it gets worse. Check out two guys calling out everything from MAPL certification to the indistinguishable sounds of "Hey Rosetta and Hey Ocean, We Are the City and City and Colour, Young Galaxy and Young Liars, Woodpigeon and The Wooden Sky, Wintersleep and Winter Gloves, Mother Mother and I Mother Earth", and, most cruelly, "Library Voices and an actual trip to the library."
Watch Hey Ocean! have a dance-off in a new tour videoAUX Blog player with bigger default dimensions. Autoplay enabled. brightcove.createExperiences(); Vancouver's Hey Ocean! will release their new album Is on May 15, and if you can't wait till the summer to see them live, they've shared a tour webisode with AUX so you can get a glimpse of what it's like on the road with the band. Featuring the band's irresistible single "Big Blue Wave," the short webisode is full of live footage as well as, yes, dancing, in an alley. It appears to be a supportive yet competitive dance-off. Watch out for when they go rogue. Check out the clip above and pre-order the deluxe edition of Is on iTunes today.
Shad takes Hillside fans on a lyrical journeyAs the sun beat down and the mud dried up (finally), it was obvious that the last day of Hillside was set to continue its legacy of magic, and following an afternoon of killer performances by the likes of Braids, Zeus and spoken word artist Shane Koyzcan, by the time Shad began his performance on the Main Stage at 7, anticipation was at an all-time high for what the evening would bring. Despite the delayed schedule (and a cancellation by Finley Quaye), true to festival spirit, the crowd remained happy and positive, and as the previous X3 Artist launched into his trademark mix of energy and earnestness, anyone doubting the decision to feature a rap artist at a predominantly folk festival was put to silence. Entranced from the first beat, festival-goers watched and moved with enthusiasm, raising their hands as Shad took listeners on a lyrical journey that has become his trademark. Joined onstage by Ashleigh Ball of Hey Ocean! for a memorable rendition of Rose Garden, the artist not only showcased a sense of camaraderie with his fellow musicians, but epitomized the true meaning of Hillside: community, friendship and once-in-a-blue-moon festival moments. His impromptu personality continued to shine as he picked up a guitar and began freestyling, rapping about everything from his instrumental abilities to why the crowd should stick around for closing band, Stars, and proving once more that not only could he sit down to write bankable tracks, but that his quick wit and likeability makes for memorable moments that refuse to be limited to recorded songs. Charming the crowd with his natural charisma, Shad then launched into a dynamic version of Out of Love Pt. 2 after fulfilling his promise to perform a love song (that wasn’t, thankfully, Kiss From a Rose as he first joked). Bringing new edge to a festival that had already seen a variety of music, the performance of Canada’s current (legitimate) hip-hop darling proved that like its attendees’ taste, Hillside’s lineup is one that boasts musical diversity while reflecting the relevance of current Canadian music – and that despite its folk-music affiliations, the festival understands the wants of young listeners.