Hershey, Pennsylvania’s The Ocean Blue came of age as a band in the late 80s/early 90s and was one of the first American groups to channel the melancholy post-punk of British outfits The Smiths and New Order for U.S. teens weaned on college radio and MTV’s 120 Minutes.
Their 1989 debut on Sire Records won critical acclaim when the band was barely out of high school, and they followed suit with the albums Cerulean (1991) and Beneath the Rhythm and Sound (1992). On 19 March The Ocean Blue will release Ultramarine on Korda Records, their first full-length in ten years.
"We chose Ultramarine [as a title] 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," singer/songwriter David Schelzel explained via a press release.
According to the band’s publicist, Ultramarine was recorded in Minneapolis, Portland and Mt Gretna, PA over several years, with Schelzel and drummer Peter Anderson producing. “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," Anderson said in the press release.
Musically and lyrically, The Ocean Blue explores familiar themes on Ultramarine. The record has been described as “romantic, melancholic and impressionistic.
"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," said 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."