Light Weight is The Ocean Party’s fifth album in three years. As their first album recorded in a studio with John Lee (Lost Animal, Love of Diagrams). Inspired by 80s pop and post-punk, with intimate, brooding and upbeat and quasi- psychedelic tracks throughout the album Light Weight is a dynamic collection of songs crafted by the band over the last eight months and is out now via Spunk Records.
Mark Rogers takes us through some of his favourite lyrics and tracks from the album and his most memorable moment from recording.
What is your favourite album of all time?
Highway 61 Revisited – Bob Dylan
I care a lot about lyrics, but lyrics are rubbish without good music. On this album, Dylan has a loose, rough band of incredible musicians making sense of all his weird chord structures. That snare hit that kicks off the album is so exciting. I love Dylan’s words so there’s that, but I like this album most because he’s got a real band behind him, not just session musos, but a gang of people figuring it all out together. And Ballad of a Thin Man is great when you’re pissed off at someone for some reason.
What was the first album you bought with your own money?
An Eskimo Joe EP that I have now lost.
What was playing on your family stereo growing up?
Dad is a sixties tragic. He makes themed mix CDs and puts them on at parties and you have to guess the theme. Like Dylan covers, or Songs with a girl’s name in the title. When he’s not doing this he’s making mixes like Best of 68, Best of 67 and so on. The classic Bill’s Best mix includes Whiter Shade of Pale – Procul Harum, Itchykoo Park –Small Faces and All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix.
Which album did you play to death as a teenager?
I listened to that Nirvana greatest hits CD a lot.
What albums/EPs are you currently listening to?
I’m smashing the new Totally Mild album, it’s amazing. And I got linked to the unreleased Cool Sounds album and I’m loving that too. Blank Realm’s newy is on pretty heavy rotation as well.
What has been your favourite EP or album release of 2015 so far?
Totally Mild – Down Time
What record stores can you not live without visiting regularly and why?
I love Revolve Records Relics in Erskineville where I live. Lots of weird curios and awesome second-hand stuff.
Where did the title Light Weight from and was it the only title you had for the album?
No, we brainstormed heaps of ideas. We liked the two-word thing. I’m pretty sure we had the Album title idea before Jordan called his song Light Weight but now it serves as a nice justification for the title.
What are your favourite track/s from the album and why?
I like ‘Grow Up’, Loc’s Side 2 slow burner. I like hearing him in a more intimate, confessional mode and I reckon the slide Zac did is amazing.
What are your favourite lyrics from the album and why?
It’s probably a snippet from ‘Phone Sex’: “The ounce of care I never had for anyone or my future”. This is a pretty classic Liam ‘tude line, but it also manages to be really sad.
What was the inspiration behind the album artwork for title Light Weight and who designed it?
Loc designed and screen-printed it himself. I might be making this up but I feel like he found a photo or a painting of bookshelves which had some colours that he liked, then shifted that into the cover. It feels sort of impersonal somehow, like a schematic for something.
What is your most memorable moment from recording Light Weight?
I chucked a bit of a sook about putting bass on ‘Grow Up’, so I remember that because I’m still a bit embarrassed about it. But mostly just that John Lee was fantastic and cracked his Whisky whenever we hit a wall. Also the long walk home from Coburg to Preston each night gave us time to reflect and plan the next day, so we were pretty efficient. We really put John to work, poor guy.
Light Weight is out now via Spunk Records.
The Ocean Party 2015 Tour Dates
Fri 9 October
Vic on the Park, Sydney
Sat 10 October
Treehouse, Byron Bay
Sun 11 October
See Space, Lismore
Tue 13 October
Green Ant Cantina, Cairns
Wed 14 October
Rec Room, Townsville
Thu 15 October
The Workshop, Rockhampton
Fri 16 October
The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba
Sat 17 October
Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
Sun 18 October
The Time Machine, Nambour
Thu 22 October
Fri 23 October
Thyme To Taste, Yass
Sat 24 October
The Tote, Melbourne
Sun 25 October
Birdhouse, Wagga Wagga
Fri 30 October
The Eastern, Ballarat
Sat 31 October
The Metro, Adelaide
Fri 6 November
The Bird, Perth
Sun 8 November
The Newport, Fremantle
Sat 14 November
The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart
Sun 15 November
Fresh Cafe, Launceston