Into the deep end with Hey Ocean! 

Vancouver-based quartet create whimsical pop incorporating elements of jazz, funk, folk, reggae and more

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Who: Hey Ocean!

When: Friday, June 12, 9 p.m.

Where: GLC

Cost: $10 to $15 at GLC, Katmandu, The Hub and Billabong

Hey Ocean!'s sound is often described simply as pop, but it's actually a lot more a feel-good fusion of a variety of genres, sounds and influences. The end result is simply upbeat, feel-good music (hey, even their name has an exclamation point in it - that's gotta be a good sign, right?)

With Ashleigh Ball on vocals, flute and basically any other instrument you throw her way, David Beckingham on vocals and guitar, Dave Vertesi on bass and Dan Klenner on percussion, this group is chock-full of energetic young talent, eager to learn and make music.

While the group's sound is often lumped under the "pop" umbrella at your local music store, their sound actually incorporates elements of many other genres - folk, funk, jazz and reggae, just to name a few.

"We all listen to lots of different music, but we all appreciate a lot - even more than we listen to - so we draw on a lot of different genres, styles and artists as a reference for when we're writing our own songs," Vertesi explained.

Keeping genres separate certainly isn't a priority for this group. Rather, it sounds like they're simply aiming to make good, fun music that everyone can enjoy.

"Good music is good music," Vertesi stated succinctly.

Vertesi recently attended Sasquatch Festival and said he walked away from the experience enriched with new ideas and inspiration to take back to Hey Ocean!'s drawing table, perhaps even the studio, when the group meets at the end of fall to work on material for a new album, which they hope to release in the New Year.

To date, the group has released two full-length albums: "Stop Looking Like Music" in 2007, and "It's Easier To Be Somebody Else" last fall. There's also an EP only available online. If you listen to their entire body of recorded works chronologically, it's pretty clear that this band's sound has grown in leaps and bounds.

"I like being in a band that wants to make better music," Vertesi added, "The next album we do will be different from the last one."

The group has been busy in the studio demoing some new songs and going over old material, all in preparation for yet another line-up change. Yes, that's right. Hey Ocean! will be getting their second new drummer in as many years, replacing Dan Klenner on percussion.

"Our drummer is pretty young. He's been with us for a year and a half, and he just needs time to do his own stuff, ya know? We're moving pretty quickly and we spend a lot of time on the road - it's a big commitment."

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