Oceans of time personifies beauty in its purest, most natural form
Amidst the misty tones of Hurley’s production, de Oliveria’s vocals ring with the softness of an angel and the tender playfulness of a dolphin. Their single ‘All flowers in time’ summarises the unique sound that fills the album like a gentle lilting that echoes in a large cave by the sea. With an ambience like wave water lapping around the eroded rock and its lyrical sensibility, each song off of de Oliveira's and Hurley’s new album reads like a beautiful German Lied.
After a transcendent ‘intro’ track setting the mood for the next twelve pieces of transient mystery, ‘Im Nebel’ presents a bluntness and darkness that leans into the more gothic elements of dream pop and alternative music. The essence of this song is reminiscent of post-Velvet Underground Nico’s works on albums such as ‘Desertshore’ and ‘Camera Obscura’. Songs like ‘Janitor of Lunacy’ and ‘Das Lied von Einsanen Mädchens’ with their lower register earthy vocals and drone like instrumentation are similar in audio aesthetic to the gothic and spine chilling ‘Im Nebel’ which almost makes the very hairs inside the listener’s ear drum stand up it is so demanding of your attention and sonically spooky in how it achieves such a demand.
Later on the album, ‘Something to behold’ maintains the demanding eeriness but in place of a fearfulness, there is more of a crisp sadness reflected in the lethargic drum beats and the extra wet reverb. De Oliveira's vocal tracking is a complex tangle of sounds intertwining into each other, overlapping and underlapping like the wavelike motion mentioned earlier. The more timid lofi esc drum beat and unique vocal sound makes for a natural comparison to Portishead’s work on ‘Dummy’ arguably their most famous and best loved album. Hurley’s production on this album merges all forms of musical understanding, from the classical to the popular. Without using orchestral instruments specifically, Hurley manages to create what sounds like an orchestra surrounding De Oliveria’s vocals. This is an orchestra made up of the traditional band instruments and an electronic prowess that results in this illuminatingly full and thorough sound. What is illuminating about it is that it is done so well and so effectively.
And finally, taking a look at the album’s single ‘All Flowers in Time’, a song that puts in the ‘dream’ in dream pop and the ‘slow’ in slowcore. The soundscape of this song encompasses hills and valleys, with its vast and glorious melodies and dramatic echoing that vibrates through the mountain rock. Closing your eyes and listening to this song, will bring you images of peacefulness and an utter sense of calm with a hint of tasteful melancholy as if a single tear had dropped from your eye.
‘Oceans of Time’ is the perfect name for an album so full of natural beauty and peace like the beauty of our own underwater and out-of-water landscapes. The emotional sensation provoked by each song is one of fear or loss or even sadness or wonder. The sonic beauty of this album will be what sings in my dreams when I listen to this music late at night by myself willingly entering into a trance-like state by its sounds.