the orange ocean
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the orange ocean

Band Rock Pop


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"Piano-based pop keeps Ocean afloat"

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Band with weird name attracts a following

Daniel Burke may have studied songwriting at Berklee College of Music, but the music he creates with the band Walter the Orange Ocean is clearly something better felt than thought about.

“At Berklee I was exposed to so much music. Studying it, I got to see what goes into great songs. Most importantly, I learned what not to put into a song,” Burke said.

Thus, here are things you will not find on Walter the Orange Ocean’s debut album, “Restless or Sleeping”: trite lyrics, flat melodies or a one-dimensional sound.

Instead, keyboardist and singer Burke and bandmates bass player Stu Pynn, guitarist Daniel Hedley and drummer Kurt Dyril crafted a richly textured batch of songs, ones that employ strong narrative, broad-shouldered melodies that free up Burke from conventional verse-chorus-verse song structures, and diverse arrangements spanning quiet acoustic guitar interludes to jazzy, buoyant romps.

In little over a year, Walter the Orange Ocean (a name with no real meaning other than it sounds pretty good) has caught the attention of a broad swath of music fans from its home base in Worcester out to Boston. The band’s piano-based pop is catchy enough to be good nightclubbing music and literate enough to be good headphone candy.

Thus, the band has performed in a variety of settings. And will continue to do so. Locally, for instance, Walter the Orange Ocean has a straight-up rock gig Saturday at Ralph’s Chadwick Square Diner, 148 Grove St., Worcester. Hooray for Earth, Elizabeth and the Catapult, and Caitlin Frame are also on the bill. Then next week, on April 28, Walter the Orange Ocean teams with dancers from Company X for a Ballet Arts of Worcester performance happening at the Sprinkler Factory Building on Harlow Street in Worcester.

Ballet Arts of Worcester and Walter TOO both have space in the Harlow Street building neighboring the Sprinkler Factory, and dance company director Jennifer Agbay happened to hear the band practicing while she was on a break.

“I could see the choreography in front of my face as they played the song,” Agbay said.

The band at the time was playing its philosophical ballad “Song for Progress,” which is what Company X, a group of seven seasoned women dancers schooled in various disciplines and styles, will perform to at the dance company’s recital. The band will also perform at other points during the recital.

The Harlow Street band room is also where Walter the Orange Ocean recorded the basic tracks for “Restless or Sleeping.” Without much studio trickery at its disposal, the band ended up with a pretty pure-sounding album, allowing the instruments and voices to create the album’s gentle ebb and flow. Burke’s lyrical perspectives on love and getting by provide quirky detours within otherwise accessible pop arrangements.

When he performed as a solo singer and songwriter, Burke said he typically let the quirkiness of his writing take center stage. But in forming a band, which started when bass player Pynn heard Burke busking in Cambridge’s Harvard Square, Burke found a whole new spectrum of sound to plug into.

“When I first heard the songs, I imagined them with trashy little drum machines. But when I brought them to the band, it almost becomes even more conventional sounding even though we are experimenting with the way to create the songs,” Burke said.

Putting the songs through a democratic wringer seemed to work, though, as the finished product has a diversity that works for the band.

Burke’s songwriting provided the strong foundation, and early in the band’s gestation his tune “Someone Who Loves You” was singled out in a new international songwriting competition called “We Are Listening.” For winning, Water the Orange Ocean was flown to London, where it recorded the track with producer Steve Williams at Sphere Studios.

“It was kind of a random experience. We were in the trenches here, then we had this big rock star weekend where they flew us to London and put us up in a nice place and had us work in a great studio,” Burke said.

Yet for all that effort, the finished version of the lovely waltz “Someone Who Loves You” is in keeping with the rest of the album’s dream-like ambience, much like the way Burke knows exactly what to leave out of the mix to create a lasting musical impression. - Worcester Telegram & Gazette


So we've managed to get reviewed by the Weekly Dig without too much Literati Karate carnage. And that's quite an accomplishment if you ask me. Don't get me wrong I love the Dig. But they do have quite a reputation for hating musicians who aren't either Bob Dylan, foreign, or dead. I'm just glad they didn't give the cd to David Thorpe.

Well enough of me (Hedley)), here's what they said:

Walter the Orange Ocean
"Restless or Sleeping"

"Mary Lou Lord pretty much ruined the "Harvard Square busker-turned-rockstar" thing for everybody. Or maybe not. In marches Walter the Orange Ocean..a local four-piece whose folksy, stripped-down indie-whatevers were conceived deep inside Cambridge's crimson save sidewalk stardom for everybody. The whole thing's built around Daniel Burke's (award-winning) songwriting, with lots of heavy dude-on-piano action. It's also shockingly earnest, and even sweet, considering the embittered locale it springs from. Writing songs like "Making Honey" ("You look like an angel should / You'd fly if humans could / Sounds crazy but we could be two bees making honey all day long") without getting punched? That's a rare gift, indeed."

Paul McMorrow - Boston's Weekly Dig

""We Are Listening" Award Winners - Walter the Orange Ocean"

pg. 1 of Volume 17, Issue 8 March 13, 2006

By Tom Dixon
Staff Writer

"We Are Listening" Award Winners - Walter the Orange Ocean

Can you imagine getting that phone call? "Congratulations!" they'd say. "Your song was chosen as number one! You've won a full paid trip to London where you'll be recording your music in a state-of-the-art studio with experienced producer, Steve Williams." Dan Burke, keyboardist, lead vocalist and songwriter of lush-love pop group Walter the Orange Ocean, recieved this very call mid-January. His composition "Someone Who Loves You" was awarded co-first prize in the "We Are Listening" song competition.
The track, a simply beautiful waltz-ish tune that features some remarkable harmonies, has great potential as a single. "Someone Who Loves You" genuinely delivers a warm sound with dressed down arrangements. Berklee Professor John Stevens, a finalist judge for the competition called the song a "great, classic AABA ballad with strong verses and refrain."
Speaking with Walter's guitar player Dan Hedley last week, he said the trip to London was all-in-all a surreal experience. Following a deserved night's rest in one of London's trendiest hotels, the group was chauffered to Sphere Studios, a seriously high tech location in the center of the city. From 10am until 3am the next morning the band set up, rehearsed, rehearsed, rearanged, worked and recorded with producer Steve Williams, whose credentials include recordings with Seal, Sting and Eric Clapton. A special guest, English Dulcimer wizard Maclaine Colston, sat in on the session lending his heavenly sounds to the record.
'We Are Listening' is a Berklee sponsored organization that honors up to 50 artists every 6 months, culminating with the trip to London as a Grand Prize. Several Berklee professors including John Stevens, Jummy Kachulis, and songwriting chair, Jack Perricone are involved in the judging process. If you are interested in submitting a song or two you can do so through and there is an entry fee of $15 per song. For more information visit
Walter the Orang Ocean is still in it's early stages of creation. Lead guitarist Hedley remarked that their sound is still in it's morphing stages, but they are consistently working hard on improving their sound and booking shows around the Boston area. You can find them online at or catch their show at the Milky Way on March 19th for only $5. Venture out and see what the orange is all about. - The Groove - Berklee College of Music


Tuesday, January 31 2006 @ 10:27 AM EST

Groundhog Day might seem the appropriate time for a band with the curious name of Walter, the Ocean Orange to make their Worcester debut. With members living in Worcester, Boston and Providence, the group, whose name might make you expect a gimmicky sound to the left of They Might Be Giants, will surprise you with their well-polished music. It might not be Coldplay, but that's the kind of quality the group seems to be aiming at. In advance of their show this Thursday night, February 2 at the Lucky Dog Music Hall, WTDO talks to guitarist Daniel Hedley about their name, how he hooked up with keyboardist Dan Burke (who is the lead singer and main songwriter), bassist Stu, and drummer Kurt, and plans for their upcoming CD.

WORMTOWN.ORG: Have you ever had an interview that didn't begin with how do you come up with a name like Walter, the Orange Ocean?

DANIEL HEDLEY (WTOO): Well, actually, no. It does come up a lot with the people we come across. That was the first thing I asked when I joined the band two months ago.


DANIEL HEDLEY (WTOO): As far as what it means... we'll never tell or maybe we don't know.

WORMTOWN.ORG: How did the band form and who's the Worcester member (s)?

DANIEL HEDLEY (WTOO): It all started with Daniel Burke, a current Worcesterite - is that what you call yourselves? In the streets of Cambridge, Burke was strumming the heartstrings of passing pedestrians with melodious songs. He caught the attention of a local mime named Stu Pynn. Although difficult to converse at first, they decided to collaborate. Stu also played Bass, which is what most mimes do in their spare time. They went on tour in Europe. Late one sullen evening in the ghettos of Oslo, Burke found Kurt Dyrli face down in a gutter. Stu nursed him back to health being that he is a bit of a medicine man as well. It turned out that Kurt was a virtuoso drummer, but sadly, a narcoleptic. They played beautifully together. But something was missing. ME, Dan Hedley. They found on the Berklee beach friendless, hopeless, helpless - bandless, but very good-looking. They needed a guitar, I needed a home. The Picasso was complete.

WORMTOWN.ORG: Your web site says "Sounds like yellow paintings in a marble room" I hear well-polished songs along the lines of Aqualung (the modern day Brit, not the Jethro Tull album) and early solo Paul McCartney, which isn't a bad thing. What are your influences?

DANIEL HEDLEY (WTOO): Yeah, we love that first Paul McCartney album...why might that be a bad thing?

WORMTOWN.ORG: You're getting ready to release a CD - I suspect the tracks up on MySpace will be on it as they definitely sound radio ready. Do you have a title yet and when will it be released? I'd suspect you'll want to tour behind this material.

DANIEL HEDLEY (WTOO): You know, flattery will get you everywhere in this world. The myspace tracks are still in the working stages and yes, I do believe they will be on the album. As to when we plan to release the album - ASAP AKA: I don't know. We definitely plan to tour once it is complete

WORMTOWN.ORG: What subject matter tends to make it into your material? Obviously, "Someone That Loves You" is a well-aimed relationship song; how about "Comic Book" and "Underneath My Feet?"

DANIEL HEDLEY (WTOO): Most of the songs, in some way or another, have to do with relationships, life experiences and natural disasters oh and TV.

WORMTOWN.ORG: How does this material translate live, especially in hard rock clubs like the Lucky Dog?

DANIEL HEDLEY (WTOO): Well, GOOD, we hope! We play with a lot of intensity even on our moodier songs.

WORMTOWN.ORG: Anything else WTDO readers need to know about Walter, The Orange Ocean?

DANIEL HEDLEY (WTOO): Yes. We really love good music and we are constantly striving to produce just that. We hope everyone will come out and enjoy the show!

(You can sample the music of Walter, the Orange Ocean at Walter, the Orange Ocean opens for Almada, Josh Cole & the Household, and Mullethead this Thursday, February 2 at 8 p.m. at the Lucky Dog Music Hall, 89 Green Street, Worcester. For more information, call (508) 363-1888.) - Wormtown.Org


"Someone who Loves You" by Walter the Orange Ocean

“There is definitely a world-wide market appeal for this song.”

(Rich Cocovich, President & Founder, Global Star Talent Inc.) -


Caught In the Air - 2008
Restless or Sleeping - 2006

Additionally, Daniel Burke has a solo EP:
Invisible Chains - 2003


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Orange Ocean, formerly Walter the Orange Ocean have just finished their second album Caught In the Air(2008).
Its a much more soulful groove-oriented album then their previous ambient, introspective debut Restless or Sleeping(2007).

Both CD release shows have been sold out affairs in the Boston/Worcester area. The Orange Ocean has played extensively over their three-year existence at places all around the New England area including T.T. the Bears, the Middle East, The Paradise, Great Scott, Harpers Ferry, the Living Room(NY), Rockwood Music Hall to name a few.

They've gotten significant radio exposure on over 200 independent college stations across the country.

They received the top prize in the We Are Listening International Songwriting Competition in 2006 for the song Someone Who Loves You for which they were flown to London to produce a recording of the song which is featured on Restless or Sleeping

The Orange Ocean is extremely excited about their new album and vitalized direction and are eager to reach out to new fans!!