Oceanic have finally released their long-awaited debut album No, Human– a perfect blend of bangers and emotional weight that deserves to be heard by the world. A rock band with pop sensibility, the East Coast based band have crafted a sound that one can only describe as magical.
I had the pleasure of interviewing the band in May of 2022 where they originally teased this album, saying that “it captures what Oceanic is more fully—which is terribly exciting to us. Essentially, it’s got more bangers, more breadth of emotion, more wide varieties of sounds. Honestly, we just can’t wait for it to be out.“
“Fooled By You” is a funky, up-tempo banger that is sure to satisfy anyone who enjoys bands like COIN and The 1975. The production is sleek with the layering on each instrument so perfectly done, you can pinpoint every single band member’s contribution. From Sam Goodwin’s bass to Jacob Johnson’s guitar- these are musicians of the highest level. The track is filled with great lyricism as well, with lines like “innocence is temporary, welcome to the truth,” piercing you through the heart when you least expect it.
An absolute standout amongst the tracklist is “Taylor”, a song that demands to be heard live from the moment the track begins. “The tears and drinks go down, so let me sing you my sad song,” lead vocalist Nathan Wyatt’s voice soars in the final chorus as the production builds into an explosion of sound. If you close your eyes while listening, it feels like the kind of stadium anthem meant to be blasted at the highest decibel- a Coldplay caliber banger. The kind of music that makes you want to sob your eyes out while pulling a muscle in your neck from all of the headbanging.
“Skydive” feels like an instant classic- the kind of song that a band of this level will be begged to perform for a long time to come. The piano is gorgeously haunting, with a melody that feels so right that it left me wondering how I’ve gone my entire life without it. “Face down, I wanted to fly. Here now I want you to try,” the chorus feels transcendent- especially as the heavenly final chorus draws to a close and your life feels that much richer for it.
“When You Fall”, like so many of their songs, is an absolute banger with quite philosophical lyrics and an energy that feels like pure adrenaline. “Every time the world is wrong, we see it crystal clear but we maintain the illusion, that we all know why we’re here,” is a fantastic representation of the undercurrent of depth found throughout this album. On the surface, each song feels like the best an alternative pop band can offer but with every subsequent listen- the writing proves Oceanic to be a step above your average band.
The album’s title track “No, Human” tackles the complexity of being a human being, layered over a funky production that truly highlights the drums so precisely that you can feel every beat. Nathan’s vocals carry a grit to them here which sits so insanely well with these melodies. “I don’t know why it’s such a journey just to feel alive,” is perhaps my favorite piece of writing on this entire project- which speaks wonders to the overall quality throughout.
From the moment that “Skin” begins, it feels like instant magic. The blend of guitar along with the rest of the production is top notch- reminiscent of the way “Medicine” by The 1975 makes me feel with every listen. Musicality cannot be taught and the way each member of this band contributes to this track is art that inspires you to want to create something of your own. “What’s the point of ripping out your insides if it’s just another story.”
“Balance” serves as the perfect interlude to prepare us for the final track “Cry” which is another highlight from this incredible album. “Cry” left me in its wake, desperately wishing for what is next and yet perfectly content with this ending. I found myself unable to move on easily from this final song- repeating it 3 times in a row before I could truly process what I’d heard. That final crescendo brought tears to my eyes- a culmination of all that came before it. All at once emotional and absolutely massive, a finely painted portrait that makes you grateful to be alive.
It’s very rare for any album, let alone a debut to be completely skipless, cohesive, and absolutely enthralling- but Oceanic have exceeded every expectation here with No, Human. Art like this demands to be both listened to and soaked in to allow every intricate detail to fully set in- the kind of art that in turn raises the caliber for what a smaller act is capable of. This is music of the highest degree that should make bigger acts with a more global soundscape step up their work, because Oceanic are on their way to completely take over the world.
No, Human is out now on all streaming services.