Oceanographer
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Oceanographer

| Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

| SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Rock

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"Artist Profile: Oceanographer"

Beautiful and simple. Those are probably the first two words popping into your mind when you listen to Brooklyn band, Oceanographer. That wouldn’t be too far off either. Playing beautiful music was something the guys in Oceanographer were going for the entire time.

“Let’s just try to make songs, and not labor over something difficult,” says lead guitar player Kevin Plessner, “simplicity is kind of cool, [but] even though the parts might be simple, the understanding behind it is very complex.”

Jeremy Yocum (lead vocals/guitar), Eric Elterman (synths/mandocaster), Zach Eichenhorn (drums) and the recently departed Ryan Goolsby (bass) join Kevin in Oceanographer.

Even though the band is in a slight period of transition, there’s nothing wrong with marveling at the intensely pretty music they’ve conjured up. Songs like ‘Lightning’ and ‘When December Comes’ wash over you with equal parts tranquility, splendor, and precision.

Together the four, soon to be five, members of the band combine to create an interlocking music box full of harmonies and melodies, serene enough to feel as though they might just float away before you can really grasp them. Impeccably tuneful vocals from Jeremy really bring everything home.

“It’s a testament to how well crafted the songs are, we’re all cognizant of different parts and where everything fits,” says Zach. “We’re definitely about crafting songs,” adds Jeremy.

Yet what’s most interesting about the band, is that they always seem to know how to hit those ‘just right’ moments. “To me the notes that we play,” says Kevin, “feel like the right notes and I love that.”

All of this comes from the band’s excellent ability to play off one another, never using a song to showboat or take away from anyone else. “We’re all very humble about our parts. Down to the point where if someone doesn’t like a lyric I’m singing then I’ll change it,” says Jeremy. “When we write parts it’s not ‘how can I show off’ but ‘how can I make the song better?’” adds Eric.

After playing their first show on July 15th, 2001, Oceanographer has gone through a bunch of different stages, including a break-up in 2006. But, luckily for listeners everywhere, Oceanographer got back together in 2009 and they seem to be doing better than ever.

“The musicians I’m playing with are the best musicians I’ve ever played with,” says Jeremy. Jeremy isn’t alone in his sentiment either. “I’m frequently humbled that I get to play with musicians of this level. We’ve all become better musicians because of each other.” Even the recently departed Ryan, who moved to Texas at the time of this interview, “wrote some of the catchiest bass lines I’ve ever heard,” according to Jeremy.

Whether it’s their experience, their humility, or their considerable, these musicians just seem too good to make any wrong moves. Listening to the band is listening to a group that is more than the sum of its parts, and players who all embrace that idea. “We’re currently moving forward with great momentum,” says Jeremy. “[We all] just want to take it to that next big step,” says Kevin. - Blaqbook


"Oceanographer"

Dallas music snobs, here is your record for 2006. Go ahead--set the CD for On Leaping From Airplanes in the stereo, put your Funland pajamas on, curl up in your Tripping Daisy bedsheets and dim the UFOFU nightlight, so that you might fall asleep and dream of a nostalgic era in Dallas music. That's not to say Oceanographer is either poppy or particularly psychedelic; in fact, that's not to say they're from Dallas, either. These former Dentonites wrote and recorded much of their second album in Brooklyn, but the sounds are steeped in the spirit of the Dallas metroplex, a blend of spacey textures and raw, country-tinged songwriting that you just won't find anywhere else in the country. And for that, bedroom dwellers in every 752XX zip code will want to equip headphones for this disc, a lovely meeting between the New Year's Newness Ends and Pleasant Grove's Auscultation of the Heart where guitars, synthesizers and spare strings melt together like a Phil Spector wet dream.

The thing is, the quintet recognizes the dreamlike sound and even reflects on the sadness between that dream, the one where they move to Brooklyn and achieve national fame, and the reality--on "Stations," singer Jeremy Yocum laments, "I crawl out of dreams with silver still on my eyelids/Picking up messages from our most distant stations/But as soon as you look at it, it vanishes." But dreams become reality on songs like "Ludia, You're Fading," a truly radio-perfect blend of quality and outright catchiness, complete with Yocum's repeated sweet cries of the song title like he's trying to keep Ludia alive with his voice. If any album could resuscitate, Leaping just might.

- Dallas Observer


"Oceanographer"

Dallas music snobs, here is your record for 2006. Go ahead--set the CD for On Leaping From Airplanes in the stereo, put your Funland pajamas on, curl up in your Tripping Daisy bedsheets and dim the UFOFU nightlight, so that you might fall asleep and dream of a nostalgic era in Dallas music. That's not to say Oceanographer is either poppy or particularly psychedelic; in fact, that's not to say they're from Dallas, either. These former Dentonites wrote and recorded much of their second album in Brooklyn, but the sounds are steeped in the spirit of the Dallas metroplex, a blend of spacey textures and raw, country-tinged songwriting that you just won't find anywhere else in the country. And for that, bedroom dwellers in every 752XX zip code will want to equip headphones for this disc, a lovely meeting between the New Year's Newness Ends and Pleasant Grove's Auscultation of the Heart where guitars, synthesizers and spare strings melt together like a Phil Spector wet dream.

The thing is, the quintet recognizes the dreamlike sound and even reflects on the sadness between that dream, the one where they move to Brooklyn and achieve national fame, and the reality--on "Stations," singer Jeremy Yocum laments, "I crawl out of dreams with silver still on my eyelids/Picking up messages from our most distant stations/But as soon as you look at it, it vanishes." But dreams become reality on songs like "Ludia, You're Fading," a truly radio-perfect blend of quality and outright catchiness, complete with Yocum's repeated sweet cries of the song title like he's trying to keep Ludia alive with his voice. If any album could resuscitate, Leaping just might.

- Dallas Observer


"Review: Half Moon Run at Mercury Lounge"

Oceanographer, a Brooklyn-based band, are also climbing up the rungs to popularity, though not quite as quickly as Half Moon Run. The five-piece has been around since the early 2000's, making quality music and simply hanging back in the scene. It seems that recently however, their attention may be spreading.

The band recently added Mark Kelley, the bassist for The Roots, to their lineup and are talking about debuting new music once The Roots finish touring in August. Oceanographer's sound is also not quite “average,” whatever that means anymore. They incorporate many elements that were quite popular in indie rock nearly a decade ago, while still sounding fresh and hypnotic. They sound like a band that “The O.C.” would have gladly added to the end of an episode. They play a bunch of shows in the Brooklyn area, and are definitely worth checking out in the future. - Charged.fm


"Review: Half Moon Run at Mercury Lounge"

Oceanographer, a Brooklyn-based band, are also climbing up the rungs to popularity, though not quite as quickly as Half Moon Run. The five-piece has been around since the early 2000's, making quality music and simply hanging back in the scene. It seems that recently however, their attention may be spreading.

The band recently added Mark Kelley, the bassist for The Roots, to their lineup and are talking about debuting new music once The Roots finish touring in August. Oceanographer's sound is also not quite “average,” whatever that means anymore. They incorporate many elements that were quite popular in indie rock nearly a decade ago, while still sounding fresh and hypnotic. They sound like a band that “The O.C.” would have gladly added to the end of an episode. They play a bunch of shows in the Brooklyn area, and are definitely worth checking out in the future. - Charged.fm


"Oceanographer at Spike Hill"

"Deftly bridging the gap between the lovely French electronic movements of Air and the
touching classic American soft rock of a Gerry Rafferty or Michael Murphey— all the
while including the subtle rancor found within the products of such otherwise grandiose
bands as Coldplay and U2— Oceanographer arises from the BK indie pile as a singular,
wonderful delight. Led by the sad, steady vocals of Jeremy Yocum, this group can easily
aim for levels of midlevel major success, and if the right ears ?nd them… well, let's just
say Oceanographer could very well end up a band you'll want to be able to brag that you
saw back when they were only playing the little stages in town." - Metromix New York, August 2011


"Oceanographer at Spike Hill"

"Deftly bridging the gap between the lovely French electronic movements of Air and the
touching classic American soft rock of a Gerry Rafferty or Michael Murphey— all the
while including the subtle rancor found within the products of such otherwise grandiose
bands as Coldplay and U2— Oceanographer arises from the BK indie pile as a singular,
wonderful delight. Led by the sad, steady vocals of Jeremy Yocum, this group can easily
aim for levels of midlevel major success, and if the right ears ?nd them… well, let's just
say Oceanographer could very well end up a band you'll want to be able to brag that you
saw back when they were only playing the little stages in town." - Metromix New York, August 2011


Discography

Spilling Blood (2012)
On Leaping From Airplanes (2006)
Twenty String EP (2003)

Photos

Bio

Oceanographer have their feet in Brooklyn, but their origin story stretches back to the North Texas psych scene that spawned their earliest incarnation over a decade ago. With three full lengths under their belt and a few miscellaneous recordings knocking around online, the five-piece continues to evolve through changes in instrumentation and personnel. Most recently Mark Kelley, bassist for many acts of notoriety including the oft-televised Legendary Roots Crew, joined the band and is working closely with them on a brand new batch of songs.

What hasn't broken continuity throughout is their trademark sound: arpeggiated guitar, ethereal leads, other-worldly samples, melodic vocals and driving beats, marked throughout by an emotional sincerity and transparency.