Review of Oceaán’s “The Grip”

by Michael Glader

The Grip makes the fourth and much anticipated release from Oceaán. Recently released on November 17th on Chess Club Records, The Grip simply leaves you wanting more.  At 21 years old, Oliver Cean (Manchester, England) effortlessly pulls you into his world. Scattered beats and layered synths blend brilliantly with luscious, soulful, vocal melodies. Cean’s vocals are quite sincere in their debonair delivery on The Grip.

Opening the EP with its title track, “Grip,” stands as my favorite track and greatly highlights Cean’s ability to pull you in, stretch your ears wide into the mix and retain your commitment to the interesting groove and production quality. “Grip” has you hooked within 30 seconds. You’re curiously surrendered, wondering, but not caring where you will be taken next. Effected and pitch-shifted voices are perfectly used to dynamically bring you down to a raw rhythm that leaves you mindlessly tapping along. You are sincerely surrendered to the beauty of this track.

Another standout track on the EP is Oceaán’s single, “Veritas.” It’s hard to predict exactly where this song will take you until each element is cleverly layered, pulled back to an abrupt stop and then followed directly by a smooth and sexy vocal delivery. The vibe is undoubtedly relaxed with its confident and upfront vocals. It’s hard to believe Cean is only 21 years old with such vocal bravado. “Veritas” is smooth and focused. Abrupt stops do not take you away from the relaxed vibe, but merely give you a break to effortlessly slide back into the groove.

The Grip easily blends its lyrical content with a mature production quality. Each song sits nicely atop each other and does not command opposing views. The EP works together to produce a memorable and unclenched feel. With notable praise from BBC Radio 1, KCRW and The FADER, I would keep a close eye on Oceaán. Check out “Veritas” on Soundcloud.

Release date: December 8, 2014