OCEANS OF ANGELS is a solo project which is beginning to make a bit of a stir in indie/rock pop circles and listening to debut EP, The Gift, it is easy to understand why. It is a six-track collection of emotively written, melodically woven temptations which with creative drama and fertile enterprise made for one keenly infectious and highly enjoyable encounter.
The band is the solo outing of Johannesburg based singer songwriter Sheldon Horvatic, an artist who was playing drums at the age of nine and soon mastering various other instruments. Across his youth he played drums and guitar in several South African bands before travelling the world on ships “exploring and experiencing various countries and inspirational cultures.” It was time his songwriting relished and when the concept for OCEANS OF ANGELS was born. 2022 saw the release of debut single, Shattered Soldier and its successor, Still On Fire, both well-received by media and fans especially in the likes of Australia, the UK and back home and a period also seeing the band make its live introduction with shows in London. The Gift is Horvatic’s next step and one easy to see OCEANS OF ANGELS becoming the name of a fuller landscape of lips.
Produced, mixed, and mastered by Matthew Fink who also provides piano and synths to the release, the EP opens with Loaded Gun. Its contemplation of people getting hurt by one’s personal issues, a track its author describes as “an apology”, shimmers into view before erupting into a sonic bloom of emotive melodies and lyrical self-reflection. There is equally a guitar bred nagging which with Horvatic’s rhythmic orchestration had ears and instincts as swiftly involved as his heart sharing roar and the overall blaze of the track. Fiery and virulently catchy even within its more intimate crepuscular breaths, the song is an outstanding start to the release, ensuring attention was ripe for further plucking.
Shattered Soldier soon made good use of the keenness, coaxing it with its opening melodic enticement and again a warm breath of voice. With the great baritone lure of bass as quickly luring ears, the song was soon enthralling the imagination, its low key but potent start subsequently erupting into an eagerly catchy stroll wrapped in the emotive thoughts of Horvatic and the seductive wiles of Fink’s keys. There is inherent drama throughout too which eventually bursts into a blaze of enterprise and persuasion, the track orchestrating the richest manoeuvres in temptation and arousal.
The EP’s title track follows, The Gift, as indeed the whole release in varied ways, a moment of intimacy and heartache and looking at loving someone so much that the choice to leave to prevent hurting and damaging them is taken. Its opening is a delicious jangle of melodic wiring, a guitar weaving pure temptation with an eighties indie air to its enticement. Ebbing and flowing in energy, gentle sways and eager surges uniting in its perpetually contagious presence and evocative musing, the keenly devoured track makes way for Carnival which with its own body of personal shadows and evocative light proved a beguiling almost tempestuous moment firmly hooking ears and pleasure.
From start to finish The Gift is a collection of tracks which like a flame had our moth like attention, indeed a release which sparked, crackled and erupted like a fire throughout with aptly Still On Fire escalating its pull with electronic sparkle and thoughtful melodic strands around heartfelt sharing. It’s somewhat calm almost sombre beginnings soon evolve into a flirtatious pop tempting yet still sharing inner torment and anxieties; a creative and emotive romance again easily embraced.
The release closes up with Only An Echo, a similarly composed and cast encounter and again, with bold individuality and beguiling craft, sprung a dramatic and virulent proposal. An absorbing moment in its own right, the song brought one fine release to one compelling end; a release, which given the opportunity, has the potential and more to move OCEANS OF ANGELS towards the plain of widespread attention.
The Gift EP is out now on all platforms and available@ https://oceansofangels.bandcamp.com/album/the-gift
Pete RingMaster 19/02/2023
Copyright RingMaster Review
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