Oceans Away is a new album from Electric 85 (a Seattle-based duo comprised of Ian Piña & Kent Worthington). The album comes out officially on June 25, 2021, but they’ve made available “Side A” on Bandcamp as a precursor to the release. Suffice to say that this is exactly the kind of avant garde, retro-inspired indie music that I live for. Blending elements of disco, rock, pop and dance, the sound strikes me as a slightly darker and more artistic version of groups like Of Montreal. Ultimately though, Electric 85 has carved out its own distinct music identity, so comparisons can only tell part of the story.
Overflowing with dreamy reverb and deep ambiance, the song Phenomena feels like an instant classic. The video for this track features some incredible vintage Super 8 footage of the Space needle in Seattle, as well as a undated (most likely from the late 60s or 70s) Batman themed, kids’ birthday party. The more contemporary visuals in the video aesthetically bring to life the retro-futuristic quality of the music. Though the tone is thought provoking and not necessarily what one would consider sunshiny (this is Seattle after all), the songs still seem to convey a positive message. With its electrifying vocals and quirky disco-like synths, the upbeat jam Unify The World will definitely lift your spirits.
The best way to describe Electric 85’s music is that it offers that rare combination of imaginative creativity with technical musicianship. Some experimental music is merely interesting, but the songs on Side A are genuinely phenomenal. The full album will definitely be worth checking out.
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