Ocean Park Standoff, an up-and-coming alternative band with a quest to bring light and hope to the sadness that may come in life, previewed their new album to a select crowd of students gathered to listen Thursday afternoon on Greene Street.
The band has been featured on Conan, and they are going on tour with Third Eye Blind and Silversun Pickups this summer. The trio consists of Samantha Ronson, Ethan Thompson and Pete Nappi.The band’s dynamic on stage was fun, relaxed, happy and playful. Thompson even pointed to a group of students cheering, saying, “squad, that's squad over there!” Students couldn't help but to sway or smile at the music.
“I think that they bring a really good vibe to campus and students will enjoy them and I feel like they're going to get more popular soon. We try not just to bring big names but smaller bands that are gaining ground,” said Sam Esce, the concerts coordinator for Carolina Productions, before the show.
The band launched into the small concert with a fun, calm disposition that showed their love of the music, not just the attention of the crowd. The first two songs were a sneak peek at their EP, which will drop March 3. The first was a playful song that reminds the listener of youth and taking advantage of all it has to offer while we can. The lyrics illuminate the joy of letting go and giving in to the happiness life offers:
“Let's take our minds off the things we can't control /
Let's take our clothes off and jump into the ocean /
Don't know where we're going but it's somewhere out there.”
After the show, Thompson commented on the difference between playing smaller acoustic shows, like the one on Greene Street, and a full band set.
“When we do the full band stuff, it's such a different energy than when we do the acoustic stuff," he said. "It's fun to be able to dive into both sides of the songs like that. One of them is a little more emotional and the other is like 'let's have a good time.'"
The second new song in the lineup, "We Do," also carried a theme of the pleasures of pursuing what makes you happy. Vocalists Ronson and Thompson tossed one line of the bridge lines back and forth, taking turns repeating the lyric to each other, playfully celebrating the feel of the music while singing, “Yeah we do it cause it feels good.”
The small concert continued with Ocean Park Standoff’s single "Good News." Ronson commented onstage that this song communicates a central part of the band’s message: to bring light and good in the dark and sad times of life.
“We try to keep it hopeful. I think the main thing for us when we write songs is not to be just all dark and gloomy but be a little bit inspiring, to bring a little bit of light to the dark,”
Thompson’s vocals range from bass to tenor, the latter of which is yet emotionally deep with feeling and soul. Ronson’s higher voice contrasts beautifully with Thompson’s, yet hers still carries a unique sound that provides her with a notable sound that leaves the listener wanting more of the calm pleasure her voice evokes. Both Thompson and Ronson keep the band’s sound natural and acoustic, creating a soulful and honest feel.
Ronson commented of the band’s beginnings:
“Pete and I met through his publisher, my manager, just to get together and work on some stuff and it was love at first session,” she said.
Nappi joined the two and soon after they released their first single, "Photos & Liquor," and their second, "Good News."
From here, the band will continue their tour and move on to cities including Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina.