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Over the Ocean, ‘Owl’ – Song Premiere

Over the Ocean
Spartan Records

We’re not sure if Norfolk, Va.-based post-rock quintet Over the Ocean took their name from the song of the same title by slowcore legends Low, but the comparison is apt. On their 2011 full-length debut, ‘Paper House,’ Over the Ocean brought together a slew of post-rock elements — the arena-ready rock grandeur of Muse; the sweeping, cinematic crescendos of Godspeed You! Black Emperor; the layered, dynamic introspection of certain Mogwai songs — on an epic scale.

But strangely, its ‘Owl,’ a tune from their just-released sophomore album, ‘Be Given to the Soil,’ that may sound most like Low. On the song — which is pleased to premiere below — singer Jesse Hill lays his dominant baritone on top of eerie, drumless atmospherics and a repetitive guitar chord as the drifting, down-tempo tune slowly gains momentum, finally reaching a powerful, snare-backed peak five minutes in. But like many a Low song, it never actually boils over.

“The song kind of came to me all at once,” Hill tells “I wrote the lyrics in the car on the way home from work and recorded a quick demo of it with an acoustic guitar after dinner. It hasn’t really changed that much from the original idea. The basic lyrical ideas came from a short story I was writing at the time. I’ve since scrapped the story, but the song was a perfect part of what we wanted to do with the album.”

‘Be Given To the Soil’ is out now and available digitally via iTunes, Amazon MP3 and Bandcamp, or as a gatefold double vinyl LP here.

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