Comprised of a group of high school classmates and friends, the Hershey, PA-based quartet The Ocean Blue quickly rose to national prominence with the critically applauded release of their debut effort through Sire Records back in 1989 — and of course, that also meant major radio and MTV airplay. The quartet went on to release two more well-received records through Sire, Cerulean and Beneath the Rhythm and Sound and a fourth album See the Ocean Blue through Mercury/PolyGram before leaving the major label game in the late 90s, which arguably made them one of the earliest and better known acts to do so.
In the 2000s (and that phrase just looks and sounds utterly doesn’t strange doesn’t it?), the band released several independent releases including Davy Jones Locker and Waterworks before going on a lengthy hiatus, which ended with the 2013 release of Ultramarine through Korda Records, a Minneapolis-based (where the band cooperative label that the band helped launch.
Recently, the band re-issued their first three Sire Records releases on vinyl — for the first time in over 20 years — and to celebrate the occasion the band played a small handful of special shows playing material from those albums live, to celebrate the occasion. And from what I hear, the band is working on a full-length of new material, slated for release sometime next year.
But in the meantime, the band shared a lost and previously unreleased single from the Sire Records days, “City Traffic” which consists of shimmering guitar chords played through gentle layers of reverb, soaring organ chords, propulsive drumming and plaintive vocals in a song that sounds as though it possesses elements of The Smiths and 120 Minutes-era alternative rock thanks to its anthemic hooks.