The Ocean Party have had a flurry of activity over the past 12 months and have followed up their highly praised album, Split,with their fourth album, Soft Focus, in fairly quick succession. The album was made between other commitments, thus spanning a period of months which may have been at odds with the way the band previously worked, but has had the result of giving the five-piece a chance to add more layers to each tune.
Soft Focus manages to remain cohesive even though the band has five distinct songwriters, with jangle and melody being the order of the day. There is less of a sense of urgency about the tunes in this collection that gives the band a similar feel to the Newstart collecting rockers Dick Diver.
Lachlan Denton is the most recognisable voice of the band and again gives a polished performance with a voice that can border on disdain, heartache or celebration without having to deliver a significant change in tone or volume. Being massive fans of The Triffids, it was a coup for the quintet to be able to twist the arm of Rob McComb to add guitar to an album that is so rich in six string work.
Soft Focus is another tidy collection of suburban tales by a group of well schooled country folk. The Ocean Party deliver tunes that should see them keep company with the likes of Kelly and Morgan for some time.