- David Bentley
Ocelot – ‘Simpukka’ (single)
With a choice of material for tonight I opted for Ocelot simply because they are far removed from the R&B/rap material of others on offer. There’s a lot of that about but there isn’t much else that sounds like Ocelot.
The Finnish ‘power trio’ were here not so long ago with an outright psych song called ‘Perhosia’which referred to butterflies, supported by an odd video in which the audience was invited to watch out for something strange happening but nothing ever did. The band just sat there and stared into space.
This time it's a maritime themed sea groove - 'Simpukka' (isn’t he centre forward for Norwich City; the one who can’t score for love nor money?) is a song about longing for the sea, wanting to be with the sea and listening closely to the sea. Could have been written by Seasick Steve I suppose.
The song introduces the idea of a dialogue with the shells and the tide. As indeed the video makes amply clear.
There isn’t a great deal to say about songs like this. It doesn’t invite deep analysis. It’s very summery, with a catchy tune on the piano. It doesn’t really go anywhere but it invites you to dream along about that holiday that was cancelled this year so you didn’t go anywhere either, and about booking another one, perhaps to this part of Finland where viruses fear to tread.
The other thing of note is pianist Emilia Pennanen’s vocals. As I mentioned previously they are very similar to those of a Swedish singer-songwriter called SoLBLoMMa in that they take on a childish aspect. That isn’t to everyone’s taste but they seem to suit her songs (she’s the writer, too) very well.
Ocelot are one of several bands on the label Soliti’s roster – Pintandwefall is another that springs readily to mind, along with their offshoot Rules, and Cats of Transnistria - that are distinctly off the wall. Which is what we need right now. And of course the admirable Color Dolor are on the label as well and something is due from them soon, as well as recently NMR featured post rock outfit Ghosts on TV, OLLI and Love Sport.
In the spring of 2019 Ocelot released their first EP called ‘Mä voin ottaa sun ikävän pois’ (Soliti, 2019). At the moment the band are working on their first full-length album.
'Simpukka' was officially released today Friday 17th July 2020.
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For more details on all the fantastic Soliti artists, visit them here.