Catching A Wave

18 March 2012 | 4:20 pm | Staff Writer

Recording their new EP Bright People with Wayne Connolly in Sydney, Oceanics frontman Elliot Weston chats to Tyler Mcloughlan about growth within environs conducive to experimentation.

Having spent their formative years mastering their instruments and getting to know the craft of songwriting before their 2010 live debut led to a Big Day Out slot and supports with The Grates and Sparkadia, Gold Coast's Oceanics release their second EP Bright People this month. With a run of launch dates in sight, Elliot Weston is still busy courting his muse. 

“We've been in writing mode. I've pretty much been doing heaps of songwriting every day trying to get as many new songs as we can together,” says the 20-year-old who is looking forward to getting an album under his belt in the near future. “I wrote my first song in year ten and it was pretty corny and bad, but it's a pretty good song for how old I was. But I feel like as a songwriter you're constantly changing and building depending on what you're listening to and your influences, so I try to find a good balance between listening to bands and trying to not consciously use their sounds and style of writing so you maintain your own songwriting style.”

Carrying on from the solid debut outing of Oceanics' Get Friendly, Mistress Maybe EP last year, Bright People continues to showcase a keen ear for hooks and good old-fashioned sing-a-long melodies. On opening track Jukebox, it even appears that they've introduced keys into the mix.

“It's actually a stylophone,” Weston explains. “It's this little hand-held sort of pocket electric organ, so it fits in the palm in your hand and it's got a stylus, it kind of looks like a pen, and it's sort of like a flat top that you can play sort of in the shape of a keyboard or a piano. It's a quirky little instrument that we were mucking around with in the studio and we were like hey this would be sweet to work out a melody and chuck onto a track… At the time we thought it would be funny but it actually sounded pretty good so we kept it.”

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

Recording with ARIA award winning producer Wayne Connolly at Alberts' Sydney studios, the quartet were exposed to a new style of production, and one that afforded a greater level of instrumental experimentation than they'd previously been exposed to.    

“In Sydney it's a professional proper recording studio, so there's more gear, more amps, unlimited vintage amps and guitars, so there's more at our disposal to muck around with and experiment with sounds. I think that helps when you're making a record,” Weston says, comparing it to the experience of working within the home studio environment of Govinda Doyle (Angus and Julia Stone) for their debut EP. “I think now we know Wayne and he sort of knows us, and we know the studio and just listening to different albums, we sort of feel like now we're finding our feet and we know what sort of sound we want to go towards production-wise. We can do a lot more now that we're comfortable with each other and we've got the relationship,” says the enthusiastic frontman.

With their confidence growing their signature jangly rock sound as each new landmark is recorded, the Oceanics are on course for an exciting future.   

“I think this year we're gonna hold off on shows, only play the ones that are going to help the bank account or be beneficial to building fans and stuff, but the main purpose of this year is to song write as much as possible and then try and make a killer album later this year and hopefully release it next year.”