So I realize there’s a certain artists’ debut album I’ve been teasing to review. I took a break from Sunday, and was busy a lot on Monday, so now I finally get to review a new favorite album of mine, and it only released about 11 days ago. This…is “When Hearts Collide” by Chelsea Owen, aka, Oceanside85. It’s a 12 track album with three extra tracks for those parallel lovers.
The title track is the first track on the album, “When Hearts Collide”. The drum machines and vocals mix nicely I must say, it’s very rare to see actual drum machines. The only other artist I see that from is BEATBOX MACHINERY, and Oceanside85 is added to the list of “actual drum machine using musicians” as I quickly write that on a piece of paper. The song is very upbeat and pop-like, and Owen sounds a bit like a younger Julee Cruise, which I totally dig. “Waterfront” is the second track, and the riffs melt my heart in the opening, mixed with lyrics like “you stole my heart and held it in your hand”, it’s relaxing and thoughtful, like remembering previous encounters. “Supernova Love” gets more science fiction orientated, but still with Oceanside85’s lyrics, and the drum machines added in, this reminds me of old PS1 video games, and even old 90’s films like “The Faculty”. Right on the money for the nostalgia.
The first collaboration on the album features an artist I’ve reviewed and mentioned a lot already, Stilz, and his collaboration with Chelsea on the track “Space Love”. The background synthesizers fit in with Owen’s usage of drum machines, but it’s Stilz’s style added in, like a pinch of spice. This track feels very atmospheric and even like a single track from a movie OST, one made specifically for the movie itself, I could totally see this for a movie like “The Last Starfighter”.
The next track is a cover of the classic track by The Flirts, that being “Not Helpless”, and this track makes me feel exactly that, not helpless. I feel like there’s love for me already, somewhere and waiting. She’s out there for me, and I’m here for her. “Alien Lover” once again gets sci-fi, and the darkness in the opening freaked me out a bit, along with the delayed echoes of Owen’s trademark lyrics, this one reminds me more of the 50’s, excluding the synthesizers, and replace it with guitars and drums, it’d be like the theme song to a campy B-movie in a drive-in. “Take You There” gets more upbeat again, still sci-fi based, but I don’t mind at all. Vocals are still magnificent and…out of this world.
“All That Love” returns us to the surface world, and back to late night dancing and boomboxes. Wondering if love is still present, it’s present in the music, the music is the love you feel. Emotions pour out and spread your skin, love is everywhere. “Your Love” is like the sequel song to the previous song, except (to me) it feels a bit more depressing, about devotion and respect and wanting love. Desperately needing it. “Sweet like honey, and I just want a taste” is one of the lyrics of the track, and it definitely adds in the mood of too much love.
“Automatic Love” is the 10th track on the album, and the lyrics definitely make the track work very well. It, like most of the tracks, feels very science fiction-esque, and still depressing and hiding behind a mask of happiness, and the glitchy vocals at points make it very creepy. Luckily, there is actual happiness in the next song, “Forever Loving You”. It’s groovy and the lyrics, as usual, are pristine and perfect for the mood of the album, which seems to change on the side of a cassette. “Ocean Breeze” is the last track on the album, featuring a collaboration with another producer named Dimi Kaye, and this is easily my favorite track on the entire album, as Dimi’s background work blends with Chelsea’s vocals to take me to a place not like this world, or even like this existence, more like a different world or a timeline. It’s soft and relaxing.
There are some bonus tracks, featuring collaborations from two other artists, one being a 15 year old producer named Ethan Gray (Absinth3), on the track “Trust Is A Curious Word”, and Taylor Christen Russell (The TCR), who I reviewed earlier last week with the two tracks “You Get Me High” and “Desert Rose”. The album has faults, like it’s random mood swings and un-obvious sci-fi feelings, I wasn’t prepared for it. The album is good though, quite good, a fantastic debut album.