Album: Go By Ocean – Communications With the Unknown

This new e.p by Ryan McCaffrey, under the Go By Ocean moniker, acts as a deliberate and delightful companion piece to last year’s Can I Communicate With the Unknown? – itself a wonderful set of highly detailed, beautifully crafted songs. If this were the only artefact from this world to reach your ears though, you would not be disappointed. The song writing is gloriously rich in clarity- and these reworkings, remixes and acoustic or instrumental experiments offer so many varied and refined moments that it feels like a warm sonic embrace upon each new listen. 

Opener, Peace In Your Garden (remix), is a soulful, country-folk shuffle, McCaffrey’s voice shifting between a Taylor Kirk evoking subdued intimacy and an early Van Morrisonesque bluesy croon with effortless grace. What sets this apart for me though is the beautifully considered details; each added sound feels meticulous in its evocations – but also natural too. A tricky balance but one McCaffrey and the deft hands of producers David Glasebrook and Tim Bluhm guide with guile and grace. 

Modular synths, mellotrons and soft brass excursions coalesce in subtle, sweet soundscapes across this collection- offering atmospheres that seem to shimmer with cinematic intensity. The almost surreal tranquillity of the ‘beach paradise’ scenes in the original Papillon movie spring to mind somehow- there’s something calming, escapist and pastoral about the jazz-inflected sound worlds captured- that allow you to feel entirely enveloped by them. Should Have Known (acoustic) is further enhanced by the utterly beautiful pedal steel of Adam Bowers – lending a mournful nostalgia to the strangely familiar melody. Indeed, each additional musician here provides eloquence and sophistication at every turn. There are recurring melodic motifs that dip in across the e.p too – giving it a seamlessness where subtleties are key. 

It’s a lovely, warm and luxurious thing, like so much that Royal Oakie are releasing currently, many of which have been guided by David Glasebrook’s clear production vision. The album itself is well worth welcoming into your lives; this e.p alone though should certainly find its place in your collection. 

Written by M.A Welsh (Misophone)

Music | Misophone (