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Ocean Alley Maintains Controlled Chaos on ‘Low Altitude Living’

Ocean Alley makes good on their promise for a compelling — if at times formulaic — album.

Ocean Alley

Photo by Kane Lehanneur, The Sauce

Ocean Alley makes good on their promise for a compelling — if at times formulaic — album. There are moments where the band expand their sound, dipping into warbles of toasty psychedelia and cinematic production. Yet the chaos remains controlled, sounding more Byron-lite than transformative trip. 

Low Altitude Living was created through different means to Ocean Alley’s previous work. Typically, the group would get together for free-flowing jams and wrangle these looser sessions into completed tracks. The new record, however, is a time capsule of the pandemic, with ideas demoed and finessed digitally first. While this imbues the album with a welcome, broader sonic palette, the band’s infectious chemistry doesn’t always translate. 

In saying that, Baden Donegal has never sounded better — grounding himself as a magnetic frontman who delivers a soaring vocal performance of heady croons. Ultimately, this album will push Ocean Alley further towards major-global-band status.

Stream: Ocean Alley, Low Altitude Living

This review features in the September 2022 issue of Rolling Stone AU/NZ. If you’re eager to get your hands on it, then now is the time to sign up for a subscription.

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