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February 28, 2011 | by  | in Music |
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Preview of The Ocean Floor, Wet Wings, City Oh Sigh at Happy, Monday 7 March

Compatriots of oft-returning folk-pop darlings Polka Dot Dot Dot, The Ocean Floor are, like, mega-folk. Or something. They’ve flung their instrumentation so far from the standard rock two-guitar-drums-bass line up that it can’t even be seen anymore, playing in NZ as a quartet with clarinet, upright bass, guitar and violin with vocals. They take their folk from soundscape to pop, mixing in almost swingy lines and jazzy beats. The songs are well-crafted and diverse. Lead vocals have the character needed by this kind of band, pulling you along and up and down and around in a wistful but not devious way; a voice of distinction that doesn’t outshine the music behind.

I really like bands that have challenged themselves, and tried to do something new and interesting. Maybe bands don’t experiment with things because it seems too easy and they don’t want to be labeled as tacky, or sensationalist. The Ocean Floor pull it off; they’re quirky rather than gimmicky. They seem to be blessed with the magical wand that floats around the Pacific, north-west of the US. Talent flows out of that place like some kind of holy river of folk-pop. Check out The Ocean Floor at, and then head along to Happy on Monday 7 March.

Supporting will be the Wellington-based Wet Wings. Recently relocated from Christchurch (possibly to escape earthquakes, although this is unconfirmed) and originally a duo, they played at Campus A Low Hum as a four-piece. The band has come a long way since the first performance I saw in Janurary 2010, now all soundscape-y and wash-y and wander-y and also upbeat. Yes, I suppose they are ‘dream pop’. They’ll be a great addition to the Wellington scene and I look forward to bopping along at many shows in the future!

Also in attendance, City Oh Sigh, also of Wellington. Three members of big band St. Rupertsberg on cello, guitar and keys, they play well-considered and graceful songs. Live shows are somewhat scarce but recordings are floating around and will someday be released! I hope that their mature sound will become a quiet cornerstone of Wellington music.

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