Rick Pelletier formed Oceans of the Moon in Rhode Island a few years ago “just for fun.” But now the former Six Finger Satellite and La Machine mainstay is playing for keeps with the July 8 release of the band’s self-titled debut album, whose closing track “Blowing My Mind” is premiering exclusively below.
“It’s basically, like an extension of La Machine,” Pelletier tells Billboard, noting that he’s working with the same drummer, Jon Loper, while Dare Matheson is on board playing synthesizers. “I really didn’t think anybody would put out the record; I just made it, and John (Dwyer, Oh Sees frontman) at Castle Face Records (La Machine’s label) said he’d put it out and here we are.”
Oceans of the Moon shares a jagged, minimalist and somewhat experimental sonic character with La Machine, occasionally plugging in melodies that help the eight-track album straddle the line between chaotic and tuneful. “It definitely sits outside of anything that’s going on, I think,” Pelletier says. “We just make music that we get off on. We recorded it ourselves and pretty much performed it live; We overdubbed the vocals, but for the most part all of the performances were recorded live in one room, which definitely helps capture the spirit of any band. It’s for us, but if other people want to dig it, that’s great. “
“Blowing My Mind” provides a perfect kind of intro to Oceans of the Moon, since it reworks a song Pelletier created back in the La Machine days. “I redid it with guitars and synthesizers instead of bass and drums,” he says, adding that the re-do “probably came out of necessity. We were kind of shorthanded when it comes to putting a set together for live gigs, so we just threw it out there and it worked, so we kept it and recorded it and we’re still doing it. The song might be older than some people listening to it.”
Pelletier hopes to take Oceans of the Moon out on the road, likely focusing on the east coast at first and perhaps hitting California at some point. All three Oceans members work in other groups, while Loper and Matheson also have families, which makes scheduling “a little difficult” according to Pelletier. “Touring right now is a prospect I’d rather not think about, but I do hope we do some gig ’cause this is fun as hell. These two guys are great, and it’s definitely a band. We all bring stuff to the table and make something only we can do together.”