WORDS BY NADENE BUDDEN
Glass Ocean have been bubbling in the prog rock scene since their 2014 debut EP, with fans both at home and abroad waiting patiently for their first full-length release. Touring alongside the likes of Monuments, Skyharbour, Wolfmother and TesseracT, the band has been busy ever since building a dedicated following for their distinct sound. But it’s what lurks beyond this triumphant façade that sparked by the fury and anguish detailed in their 2020 debut album, The Remnants Of Losing Yourself In Someone Else.
In Temporary Dreamer’s interview with Tobias Atkins (READ IT HERE), the Glass Ocean lead vocalist explains how the band written two albums worth of material before shifting their focus towards what would become The Remnants Of Losing Yourself In Someone Else. Regardless of other personal experiences he and other members of the band went through in the five years it took to release their debut, the creative frustration is enough reason on its own to explain the dark depths explored through each track.
Opening with the rolling percussion of Voyage, the track is like being lost at sea, the tumbling drums like rhythmic waves of a rocky ocean as the captain starts to question if he can save his ship. A Dream From Which I May Not Wake follows similar themes, with twinkling synths creating a dreamscape motif the rest of the track recalls the feeling of stumbling through a confusing dream.
Beyond Us is a standout track from the album and served as a single leading up to its release – and for good reason. Each instrumental layer is spaced out with a punchy rhythm and a hit of reverb on the vocals adding to the anthemic atmosphere. Asteroid Blue and Burn follow back to back, and together show different stages of a souring relationship. While Asteroid Blue is like a wave of calmness cleansing the listener of the chaos of previous tracks, it’s the same sense of desperation that makes it a brilliant lead into Burn – detailing the madness that follows. Soul Slumber returns to a spacey dreamscape, but the twinkling synths are soon replaced with dark organ sounds that twist into a nightmare. Each song continues and endless set of questions like a shout into the void, just waiting for something to shout back and make sense of all the loss.
Divide is a change of pace for the record lyrically, as themes turn towards inner growth. The questions continue, but they are more self-reflective, exploring and acknowledging the personal growth that comes after trauma and the beginning of inner health. Bolero and Pride continue this reflection, speaking to past versions of the self. Pride utters,
“Lost in the sea, I’m finally free…Lost in a dream, I finally see my way home.”
Self and Sacrifice provides a short interlude and further reflection on the healing and growth following pain and trauma, as if the answers were obvious the whole time if one simply “listened to Mother.” We round out the record with closing track Almaida. It’s a return to form for that punchy, stadium feel, and provides the closest thing to a conclusion you can take from the process of healing.
Anyone who has been through any kind of grief or loss understands in perfect detail how hard it can be to overcome sometimes. And since it’s 2020…we all know a little bit about that. During a time when so many are simply trying to get by and move forward from negative and dark feelings, it’s in a sense therapeutic to sit back and listen in immense detail as someone goes through something even vaguely similar. It’s emotional, moody, and a little bit emo – sometimes we all just need to sit and wallow in our feelings for a bit just for the sake of feeling them. The Remnants Of Losing Yourself In Someone Else yearns to be played live, and I can’t wait for the time to come where it is possible again to stand in a big dark room with Glass Ocean front and centre, letting every emotion felt throughout this year and beyond wash over me.