by Mari Stauffer
If someone were to mention the band The Ocean Blue, you may not immediately remember them, but if you heard one of their tracks that got some airtime in the ’80s and ’90s, you’d probably recognize the song. Hailing from Pennsylvania in 1986, The Ocean Blue dropped into the music scene when Johnny Marr’s (The Smiths) jangly guitar sound and the dreamy synth music of New Order were at a peak in the modern rock/new wave world.
I remember hearing their song “Between Something and Nothing” on the radio and immediately becoming hooked by the mesmerizing guitar melody that starts it off. Besides the fact that the song seemed to be inspired by the creative process of visual arts, I was impressed when I found out that the band were all teenagers, still in high school.
Their next hit, “Drifting Falling” used a catchy saxophone lick that somehow fits beautifully into an Echo and the Bunnymen-esque modern rock sound.
The Ocean Blue has a total of 5 full-length albums, with a handful of side-projects and EPs. I have found that the musicianship is equally good on all of their albums. Unlike many bands from this era, who only had a couple of singles that got any kind of recognition on the charts, The Ocean Blue has been able to maintain a distinctly consistent caliber of quality music in their subsequent albums.
And, it looks like they’re not done yet! Their website has a cryptic message … “NEW RECORD. The band is closing in on a new record. 2011 may finally be the year.”
Let’s hope so. I’d love to hear what they’ve been working on!