|Run to the Sun
Dean Van Nguyen - January 4, 2013
"Tropical grit pop" sounds like a tough concept to get your head around, but it actually fits Ghost Beach's sound quite neatly. The "tropical" comes in their bright, sun-kissed melodies that recall pop titans The Police, while the band throws a layer of grit on top with sludgy guitar lines and jarring electronics. It's an interesting mash-up that Brooklyn duo Josh Ocean and Eric "Doc" Mendelsohn are pioneering, and one that, according to Ocean when I spoke to him about the group's sound, wasn't necessarily intentional. Still, the band has mined their unique style over two EPs and several singles that have been warmly embraced by an ever-growing fanbase.
You describe your style as 'tropical grit pop'. What does that mean to you?
It's kinda just our feeling. My middle name is Ocean I grew up on an island.... But we totally did not intend to do summery feeling music, it's just what came out. It seems the tropical thing is popular these days... it must be something in the collective consciousness. We can't really explain it.
How did you guys originally hook up?
We came together playing in another music project, but as we started writing together, our music began to take on the sound that became the start of Ghost Beach. Heavily influenced by our love of classic eighties pop, we began self producing and recording with our friend Dave Weingarten in his attic. Then we teamed up with [producer] Nic Hard to expand the electronic and programming side of our sound.
The Police and Depeche Mode have been cited as key touching points of your sound. What draws you to that aesthetic?
We enjoy and draw from the energy and feeling of a band like The Police. They have always been a heavy influence on us. Bands like Depeche Mode inspire us with their dark programming and powerful sounds.
You guys are a relatively new band but have already created a decent chunk of new music. Can you describe you writing and recording process so far? Would you describe yourselves as prolific?
We love to write and record and we are constantly inspired so as long as that continues we will keep releasing new stuff. We love being able to share music often.
You recently collaborated with Viceroy. What was it like working with Austen Afridi and how did the project come about?
The idea came up because we were playing a show together. We hung out and he had a music idea he was working on. That idea just happened to fit perfectly with this vocal idea I was developing.