The band describe determination and passion as their “bread and vegan-butter” and this latest track is testament to them going harder and stronger than ever before. The quintet of Zach Silver (vocals), Tom Hollands and Conor Hyde (guitars), Jack Warren (bass) and James Gillingham (drums) are flying the DIY flag and taking the underground UK rock scene head on – as four tours in the last year is testament to.
We spoke to Conor to get the lowdown on what’s new and, when discussing their approach, he explains taking influence from the musicality of Incubus, the energy of Funeral For a Friend and the passion of While She Sleeps to encapsulate their captivating, vibrant sound.
All this comes across in Dopamine, which opens up with a funky fast-paced riff with heavier chords and bass in support, which gives way to a rolling riff then drops down into an Incubus-esque opening verse with flitters of guitar supporting relaxed vocals. Dreamy lyrics “I’m living in a fantasy” lead us into a heavier chorus with bigger guitars, which is brought to an end by a heavier version of the cool opening riff. The second chorus is followed by a heavier blast of guitars followed by clean, intricate riffs as the song bursts into life and builds in both volume and intensity.
One word that Conor uses to discuss Oceans’ music is “Captivating,” and this is certainly appropriate when it comes to Dopamine. The track fuses moments of delicious calm and serenity with hugely contrasting franticness – caused by brilliantly hooky guitar riffs, big layered guitar support through the choruses, plus wild combinations of guitar and driving drums in its heavier moments.
Conor told us: “The single is basically about whacky dreams, and really crazy dreams usually occur when the chemical for excitement in your brain is released – and that chemical is known to be ‘Dopamine’. The song was inspired and written during a heavy weekend of over indulging at parties and bars and that also triggers the chemical Dopamine!”
Dopamine is out now, and you can listen to it here. Oceans begin their Dopamine Tour on tonight at Joiners in Southampton, then a show at The Anvil in Bournemouth the next evening and the official single launch show at Green Door Store in Brighton next Tuesday (26 September). Two nights later they’ll be at The Finborough Arms in London, followed by shows in Leicester, Letchworth and Northampton. More info on those shows is here.