the ocean blue

The Ocean Blue Seattle BW_Med

The Ocean Blue‘s debut record on the famed Sire Records label in the late 80s achieved widespread acclaim and radio & MTV airplay. The band of four young high schoolers from Hershey, Pennsylvania went on to do two more well-received records for Sire, the atmospheric Cerulean and alt pop Beneath the Rhythm and Sound, and a fourth record for Mercury/PolyGram, See The Ocean Blue, before leaving the majors in the late 90s. The band did several independent releases in the 2000s and within the last several years began working on a new full length record, their first in over 10 years. That record, entitled Ultramarine, is out now on Korda Records, a new Minneapolis cooperative label that the band helped launch in late 2012. Ultramarine is a spectacular return to form that recalls the band’s earliest work, and should appeal to fans old and new alike.

On the title, singer/songwriter David Schelzel explains, “We chose Ultramarine to reflect several things. The mood of this record is a little blue, and harkens back to our other “blue” record, Cerulean. It’s also a fun play on our name, and we were very conscious of our history as a band making this record. Thinking about our music, what it’s meant to us and others. Asking a lot of existential questions about the band, what it was, is, and could be in the future.”

Ultramarine was recorded in Minneapolis, Portland and Mt Gretna, PA over several years, with Schelzel and drummer Peter Anderson producing. “This record unfolded in slow motion,” says Schelzel, “At a glacial pace. We are not on the clock we were when we were on the major labels. And we were not in an insulated studio world for months making the music. We made it mostly in our own studios, on our own time. Regular life drifted into this one more than our earlier records.”

Music recording and distribution, and the social networks of the Web have changed the landscape completely since the band’s last full length. Says Anderson, “We are using gear and technology on the recording side that for the most part didn’t exist when the band was making big budget studio records in the 90s. It’s allowed us to do a lot of things we’d never been able to do years ago, all at a much cheaper cost. We also have the ability to connect with people directly via the Web that wasn’t really there when we did our last release.”

Musically, the new record is a return to form for the band. As well as a new beginning. Lyrically it is romantic, melancholic and impressionistic. The melodic singing, chimey guitars and lush keyboards the band is known for weave their way through the songs. Even the saxophone has returned on the opening track. But it is a record full of music that sounds very of the moment.

“It’s an interesting time for us to be putting out a new record. So much of the music we see and hear now reminds me of things I loved growing up,” say guitarist Oed Ronne. “My friends in their twenties like The Smiths and New Order. It’s a strange thing, but good for us I think. We’d love to reconnect with our old fans, but also make new ones among the ranks of the young.”

“I’m really looking forward to sharing this new music with people who know us and people who’ve never heard us before. And play some shows,” says bass player Bobby Mittan. “It’s been way too long.”

Praise for Ultramarine:

Ultramarine isn’t just a return to form; it’s one of The Ocean Blue’s best albums.
- All Music

The 12 songs on Ultramarine recall the sincere clarity of the band’s self-titled 1989 debut and 1991′s Cerulean with songs that soar with grace, blend cascading guitars and rich keyboards with lyrics that manage to evoke sentimentality, optimism and an appropriate romantic longing without being cloying or grating.
- The Huffington Post

“The Ocean Blue returns with a new album, Ultramarine (four and 1/2 stars out of five). It is a true return to form for fans of their two biggest albums while providing a perfect entry point for fans of heartbreakingly gorgeous, shimmering guitar pop…
- Pop Dose

It’s fresh but also sounds like beautiful, vintage Ocean Blue.
- USA Today

 

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21 Responses

  1. Bill
    Bill at ·

    I have every release you guys have done, have been looking forward to this news !!!!

  2. Scott
    Scott at ·

    Love it. Also love SXSW… see you there!

  3. sherwin
    sherwin at ·

    Greetings!

    I’ve just discovered the label on Facebook minutes ago.
    Can’t wait for the new TOB album!

    Hope it comes out on vinyl :-)
    Also praying for vinyl reissues of the past recordings.

    BEST!
    Sherwin

  4. Rosy T.
    Rosy T. at ·

    I am really looking forward to your concert ! Cheers! *And thanks for coming to the Windy City!

    Rosy T.

  5. Trace in Austin
    Trace in Austin at ·

    Welcome back! Can’t wait for the new album from The Ocean Blue! Please come back to Austin. You guys killed it back in ’05!

  6. Victor from PA
    Victor from PA at ·

    Welcome back TOB!! Fantastic news. Seen every Chameleon and Philly show sine the first release. keep up with the social media stuff and stay connected!!

  7. Darcy
    Darcy at ·

    Soooo looking forward to the new album! You’ve been my desert island band since 1989, and the soundtrack to my life. Thank you for continuing to create. Please come to SoCal.

  8. Darren Martin
    Darren Martin at ·

    Guys,

    Looking forward to seeing you at Schubas in Jan. Flying in from Charlotte, bringing my new wife & introducing her to to TOB.

    No, I’m not a creepy stalker. Just a longtime fan who is glad you have a new album. Oh, and an airline pilot with flight benefits. :)

    Cya Jan. 13th,

    Darren & Julia

  9. Yvette
    Yvette at ·

    So excited about the new album…hope you can make a tour stop in San Francisco! Please!!!

  10. Michael
    Michael at ·

    Looking forward to seeing you at Schuba’s again and getting the new album. Spreading the word, love your work!!

  11. Christian Landaeta
    Christian Landaeta at ·

    Looking forward to hearing the new album, as always, in Chile.

  12. Jose
    Jose at ·

    I am from Mexico city and I used to heard this band with my friends we really enjoy it, I have to many regards from this band, the first time a see Ocean Blue was in Schubas three years ago o so, I will be glad to be there one more time.

  13. James in Pensacola
    James in Pensacola at ·

    I haven’t been this excited about a new release in years! Have loved TOB since the beginning and they remain one of my favorite bands to this day. Unfortunately, I’ve never had the privilege of seeing the band live. Please consider coming to Pensacola, FL, New Orleans or Atlanta this tour (just somewhere close!). So glad to hear about the new record!

    http://www.vinylmusichall.com

  14. Dan
    Dan at ·

    Great news on the new album…LOVE TOB!

  15. Simon In Califas
    Simon In Califas at ·

    Supa excited about the new album that I’ve been waiting for.

    Will you guys be coming to California?

    You guys are on my bucket list of things to do and see!

    Peace!!

  16. Kent
    Kent at ·

    I am very excited about the up coming album. I have been following The Ocean Blue since their first single and continue to listen today. Good work!!!!!

  17. Jarrod Long
    Jarrod Long at ·

    Good Luck on returning tho the road in 2013!

  18. johnny
    johnny at ·

    AAAAAHHHH!!! New Album!!?? I’ve been waiting so long!!! And then I just found out they came to Chicago 2 days ago!! I’m so bummed.

  19. Chris
    Chris at ·

    Welcome back guys! Live here in Mpls, bummed I missed the

    recent entry show… Any more 2013 dates for Minnesota?

    Do it! :)

  20. Richard in TX
    Richard in TX at ·

    Excellent news and nice preview of your new material (and the other KORDA bands) on the sampler. Looking forward to you guys getting anywhere close here in TX so I can be there.

    Last saw you on the Beneath the Rhythm and Sound tour back in ’93 here in Houston. One of the purest sets of live music I have ever experienced!

  21. Eric Flake
    Eric Flake at ·

    Just listened to the new release,Sad Night… Wonderful stuff. Traveled to Chicago to see them recently. It was an excellent show…seriously thinking of taking a road trip to Philly and/or Lancaster late May/early June. We’re so very happy you have decided to continue creating such lovely, lush works. Thanks !

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