First, a little bit of history…
I discovered Hey Ocean! about five years ago at Osheaga. In fact, they were the very first band I saw on the very first day. I remember being incredibly impressed by their jazz-infused indie pop/rock, the fact that I had never seen a flute used live during performance like that by the front-woman, and Ashleigh Ball’s incredible voice.
Later that weekend I saw Ashleigh, wearing a leopard print onesie, join Arkells and Yukon Blonde onstage at the Official Osheaga After Party as part of Arkells’ legendary Motown Review. Between those two moments from that weekend, it was safe to say Ashleigh and Hey Ocean! had made an impression on me. I saw them again two months later with another of my favourite Vancouver bands, The Zolas, in London, ON, and then again two weeks after that in Hamilton, and then about six months later in Lansing, MI. Their music is infectious, and they’re also the loveliest of people.
So, when I heard Ashleigh was putting out her first solo effort, I was very excited. I watched the video for her single, “Crazy,” when it was released, but, for whatever reason, I didn’t give it my full attention. That is until a few weeks ago when I heard it on CBC Radio 2 Mornings, and maybe it was the fact that I didn’t have any distractions, or I wasn’t trying to watch the video as well, but the song just hit me, and it hit me hard (insert fire emojis here).
The song has a emotional seriousness and heaviness that Hey Ocean’s lighthearted pop doesn’t reach that shows not only a much better vocal range, but a deep maturity both in songwriting and over the control of her voice. Definitely a tune to be played over and over.
The video, which was shot by Joseph Klymkiw in Vancouver’s Pacific Spirit Regional Park, is, as Ball describes “a little look into the life of that inner wild woman who shows up when you least expect and takes over.”
Although no tour dates have been announced yet, we can only hope that with a new Hey Ocean! LP on its way, both solo and band tours will be announced soon.