Continuing to storm the country from coast to coast, SoCal hybrid-reggae band The Olés are back with another new single to add to your summertime playlist. “Island” is a fresh, moody, mostly-instrumental ballad that is for sure going to get the windows down and the speakers up on your next cruise to the beach. It rocks a jam band vibe that finds a way to let everyone in the band have a bit of a spotlight, interchanging themes and sounds, just seeing where the tones take you. Vocalist Matthew Tweed states:
“We would often turn off the lights (ow oww!) to begin or end our rehearsals with a couple of the melodies/riffs in [‘Island’] and just bounce back and forth off each other.”
Evolving through the band’s late night practices, “Island” was one of the first new songs The Olés wrote with Alvin Dawson on drums and Harry Trexler splitting duties with bass and trombone. With new members and new creative perspectives and ideas, the chemistry between the band couldn’t have been more crisp and electric, and the boys were ready to get to work. With all these new flows and ideas, The Olés decided to use their cell phones during these after-hour sessions to record a few different versions of the song, somewhere around 11-minutes each. Then, the plan was for every member to sit with the recordings and digest them, understand them and study them… gradually whittling them down to get to an overall structure the band liked and could work with.
After some molding and shaping, as well as some gentle lyrics added in, “Island” began to take shape. The vision was to use the lyrics to set the general theme for the song during the first two verses, then complete the story with an instrumental second half. Let the instruments and your imagination guide you out to sea on the rest of your journey. “I wrote the origin of the melody over a weekend I spent up at Pismo Beach, CA,” recalls Tweed, “reflecting and gazing over our coastline. I wanted to convey a sense of isolation and desperation that is felt in the moments before recovery. The instrumental crescendo, to me, represents the death and rebirth experienced through recovery.”
Nothing can convey a sense of isolation and desperation more than being on an “Island”.
The instrumental crescendo that Tweed references is honestly my favorite part of the song. It has such an epic build-up over the last half and then the eventual, inevitable final thunderstorm results in an abundantly gratifying solution. The way the cymbals reverberate off once the journey is complete really does leave you with a sense of having gone through death and, now, you are reborn with a fresh take on life. It leaves you refreshed and ready for the next one. With a new album on the horizon, The Olés are ready to capitalize on those feelings with more music planning to be released soon.
Purchase or stream “Island” single:
The Olés – “Island” video teaser
Cover photo by Dane Hod