Ocean Wave - Everything Doesn't Happen All At Once
Mar 9, 2020
It's always an amazing feeling to find some small artist on Bandcamp, an artist no one else seems to have touched yet and you're the first to see them. It's even better when that artist is amazing and can produce some amazing material. This is one of those cases with this very short EP released by Ocean Wave, it's a collection of 4 songs recorded on a tape in one sitting, and it's described as "a love letter for a friend" now I'm unsure if that implies the friend is dead or not, I'd hope not but, I'll get into what I think soon enough. This EP is some of the best folk I've heard, period. While clocking in at only 16 minutes it feels like a whirlwind of flowers and petals float around your body as you're whisked away from the grass beneath your feet. It's a wonderful feeling and it's an EP that can evoke many of them.

You can take this EP as something happy, or something sad. It depends on how you view the themes present really, sleeping and waking up, leaving and arriving... leaving. The lo-fi soundscape these acoustics create makes me feel a lot of things, similar to how that Lassana record made me feel, except this time I feel there's a more certain atmosphere. A feeling of longing, but wishing you well nonetheless. All 4 of these tracks play into that theme of longing in different ways, the opener: Sea Breeze seems to discuss this friend in a light in which they aren't coming back anytime soon, using things such as the wind and grass as a personification for their touch. The song also seems to deal with elements of death, grief or lack thereof. "I'm not ready to surrender to those feelings" could be an implication of grief and how our narrator wishes not to partake with it, we could also see this as an unwillingness to surrender the feelings she once held for her friend, whether they be love, or other. She wants to hold onto the last bits of life she has left in them. This follows with the next line "Do you want to be in silence" She's asking whether they even want to be grieved or not. Let me ask you a question firsthand. When you die, do you want people to grieve over you, to grieve over the person they lost in you? Of course, you wouldn't know if they were or weren't but, think about it now. Would you want your family, your friends, everyone, to grieve and mourn over you? Or would you want them to stay quiet, and continue as normal? Think about it because I'll come back to that question later on.

"Love grows in absence" You don't know what you've lost until you've lost it, this could be something living or not, it could be losing your favourite record, breaking your favourite toy to watching your mother breathe her last breath as you sit and watch, smiling gently at her as she smiles back, her faining breath a happy one. Loss manifests in many ways and sometimes the real pain only hits us days or weeks after it has occurred, and we deal with that in our own ways, healthy or not. This EP seems to be a form of dealing with it, in a healthier way. This is a different kind of loss though, it's a loss of someone close to you, not a family member though, someone who could be even closer. Let me ask you another question, this one is less existential don't worry. Would you feel more pain in losing a family member or a friend, a close friend? I won't describe who the family member is, or who the friend is. I just want you to ponder on that for a minute. How would you feel? The vocal delivery of this track, and really the entire EP is something to really behold as each line is sung in such an emotional and powerful way that it tugs at my throat, as if I'm the one singing it. I think my favourite delivery of the entire EP lies in the opener. "You can wake up knowing, you are growing" how that last word is enunciated makes me choke up and makes me feel something heavy in my gut, like a weight being pressed down on me. This line also could encapsulate that feeling of true loss. It's the little things that make the bigger things hurt in the end. Everyday we grow a little more, mentally and physically, but after death... we are stuck in the state we left ourselves in. It's something we don't think about as we're alive, that everyday we are growing stronger, and better. Each passing second we learn something new around us.

The opening track perfectly encapsulates what the emotions of this short journey are. The feelings of loss and longing, the feelings of grief as an afterthought. This EP feels like a love letter to someone, and I know that's what it is but, it feels like something for someone that isn't us. Someone that isn't with us. I assume you have lost someone before. I know I have. The feeling of finding out that they're gone... forever. These could be due to factors out of our control like illness or age... but sometimes it can be much worse. Let's go back to our opening question. I assume you've thought about it a little since then, now I'm going to add a layer to the question. You've attempted suicide. Would you want people to grieve over your death in this case, or would you rather them forget and discard. Now I know what my answer would be, but I want you to think about it again, as we continue through this review. As I said earlier, a lot of the lyrics on this EP all follow a similar theme, the theme of loss and longing, while still remaining hopeful that one day you'll see each other again. I want to touch on the closing track on this EP as well as its first.

Round and Round is our closer and it feels like an end to all things. The song still deals with the themes of longing but it puts a different perspective on it. Here we see the cycle of grief repeating itself, the cycle of death repeating itself. "Round and round and round the pattern goes, will it stop nobody knows" The song opens with this line, an incredibly powerful line that really solidifies the themes of this EP in my opinion. Grief will never leave us, deep down it will always haunt us, it will follow us all our lives as much as we try to repress it, even if we let it all out at that moment. It will still come back. You will still hurt over that loss you had, that friend, that person. This song feels like a send-off to all these emotions, to all emotion in general. Loss has occurred and now we must deal with it. This is the song that always makes me cry if the others haven't already. The repetition of that opening line digs into my soul like a feather, its prick at the end lodging inside, with its ticklish other end sticking out giving off an aura of peace and tranquillity, as the pain furthers.
"She tempers things like a sea breeze", "he is the melody, like a moonbeam". The song opens and closes with the same lines as each other. Closing this little book, this little note that no one else has seen yet, but me. This little part of memory that I stumbled into and fallen in love with, this little memory I wish to be a part of to see more, but it's far from me. I can sit on the opposite hill as the acoustics ring through the sky, and the clouds dance to the solitude of her voice. Maybe we'd see who we long for in those clouds? I'd hope so at least.

If you killed yourself, would you want to be remembered or forgotten? This EP answers that question for me, that really, whatever I decide will not be up to me anyway, people will choose to ignore my decision and wish to remember me in whichever way they wish to. Here we see that happening it seems. A choice not made by the friend, but made by our narrator. You know deep down that, upon your death, our deaths. People will be upset, as much as you don't want to believe that. People will be upset, and people will choose to grieve how they wish to. Suicide is not the only option. It isn't an option, to begin with.

"Do you want to be in silence, do you want to be in my bed" these lines close out the opener. In an EP where each singular line means so much to the listener, it's difficult not to pull little bits out. This is one of the most heartbreaking parts of the song I feel, next to the growing line. They go hand in hand really as, there's this aura of innocence to all of this, to all the songs here. "Do you want to be in my bed" you can be safe with me, no one will hurt you anymore. I will protect you, I love you. It's too late. When you lose a friend, you can lose part of yourself, depending on how close that friend was to you. Those memories come rushing back as you now know they will remain memories, and nothing more will come of them. I'll leave you with one last question, for you to think on. Do you want to be those memories, or do you want to be realities?
Supertartory's Tags
1 Comment
Mar 24, 2020
This review is exquisite. I found Ocean Wave after stumbling upon your reviews and profile, and I am so so glad that there exists an unspoken energy in having things shared indirectly like this. I think you should send your review to the artist - what a beautiful and emotional piece that deserves to be recognized and shared <3
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