I am not one that is moved easily and emotionally by watching films. Not to say I don’t love films or I don’t appreciate the craft or technique that goes into making films. From the very first frame of Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘ROMA’ something switched in me. This film was different, a good different and I knew I was in for what would be an emotional journey. Told through harrowing film making, acting, unique and dynamic choices in storytelling and plot line. All of this from the perspective of two domestic workers of a politically charged 1970’s Mexico. Although as the movie progresses the storyline focuses more so on one domestic worker than the other (there’s a reason).
Cléo (played superbly by newcomer Yalitza Aparicio in her first acting role no less!) as a central character shines throughout the movie where a story such as this could get boring or trite. This doesn’t. Yalitza with just the smallest of gestures shows how aptly she ingested this character coupled with brilliant acting from the rest of the cast as well. You feel as if you’re not watching a movie but getting a sacred glimpse into a family’s home. This also holds true to Alfonso Cuarón’s editing style and choice of film. The use of a Kodachrome black and white style make the film have a simple look and feel, akin to a 70s home movie. To a viewer these choices may seem pointless as they are quite minute. Cuarón’s choices no matter how big or small serve us the viewer two major things watching this … To put you into a nostalgic mood and in the perspective of Cléo’s character. In real is a person who often goes nameless and faceless in society. Cuarón by doing so allows the viewer to relate to Cléo the most as we draw empathy for her and her situation with the use of Nostalgia. Cléo represents not only herself but countless others in her position. So Cuarón drew less upon a backstory per se unlike other characters in the film, most notably Sofia, the wife and maternal figure of the family Cléo worked for (who is played by the brilliant, Marina De Tavira). All in all I got exactly what Cuarón was trying to convey across the screen and that’s the goal of a filmmaker. Especially from a film that is so well acted across the board and with so many tiny intricacies you could write a term paper on it. This also was the first film I’ve seen from Alfonso Cuarón so you can bet I will be watching more.
OCNS took time. Time allowed growth and change, but most importantly the opportunity to arrive at the right place in the right moment. Six years have passed, and in that time OCNS have grown from three members to six; finally becoming complete. With six unique perspectives, OCNS meld haunting tones of ambience, melodic tones of alt-rock, and top it off with indie-style and pop sensibility. OCNS released their debut single, “If I’m A Ghost” in January 2018 and are currently looking towards the near future. The follow-up single “You,” is a leap towards an ever-growing, ambient, enveloping sonic palette that will become synonymous with OCNS. OCNS is Grandy (Drums), Esdras (Bass), Isaac (Keys), Drew (Guitar), David (Guitar), and Andrew (Vocals).
– Behind The Curtains Media
I got a chance to chat with the band about their latest single and much more you can read it all below!
1. Let’s talk about a bit about the new single “You” and the inspiration behind it? Also that epic saxophone part!
OCNS: The saxophone part! We figured incorporating sax really helped with dynamics in the track. So grateful to have had some amazing feedback on it. We wrote “You” with the intended purpose of having a track that really had a running groove. The songs all about movement, and it really feels that way! From a lyrical aspect, the track digs into how deep infatuation with someone or something can unintentionally become unhealthy for you. In some cases, serving strong feelings and desires for someone doesn’t always end up how you’d expect.
2. I love the lyric video… Can you talk a bit about that? Also can we expect an official video anytime soon?
OCNS: The lyric video was not originally planned, but we’re glad to have put it out! The video really helps in portraying our personality as a band and, I’d say, even complements the music as well. We’re definitely not world class dancers hahahah, but we do hope it got other people moving. As for an official video, it all depends on where we are in the near future with this single. Hope we can!
3. There is a noticeable difference in the soundscapes of your first song “If I’m A Ghost” and your latest “You” yet there’s still that OCNS sound. Was that something you set out to achieve or something that just happened organically?
OCNS: Absolutely! It’s certainly our goal to stamp our own sound to our music. The fact that people are catching on to that concept early on is amazing! Most of our tracks, if not all, are completely different, but we always tend to organically blend them together. We’re just thrilled to sonically have our own mark while exploring multiple genres of music.
4. Since your band has a lot of old school vibes especially with the added use of the saxophone. I wanted to ask what’s your favorite ’90s jam?
OCNS: “Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve was a BOP” -Isaac
“The whole Verve discography is great, especially the A Storm in Heaven album. Gotta say I used to love the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but the 90’s was pure RnB.” -Drew
“90’s was true RnB.” -Isaac
“Yeah, gotta go with some Destiny’s Child or Sade on that front.” – Drew
*No Ordinary Love by Sade plays in the background*
5. What was your favorite band or artist in high school?
OCNS: That all depends on who your talking to in the band! We all had wildly different tastes. Isaac loved, and has always loved Coldplay. Drew was into more hardcore stuff like Counterparts. David was super into Ben Howard. Grandy was all about some Paramore and Explosions In The Sky. Esdras has always loved Juicy J. Andrew used to be very much obsessed with Mutemath.
6. What is everyone’s must have tour item?
OCNS: Most of us technically have never been on tour, despite all our years of playing music together. Andrew (vocals) has some serious touring experience from his previous band, and would probably say to always bring basic toiletries like a toothbrush, deodorant, etc. but the real key is MOIST TOWELETTES. Being able to wipe yourself down after a show or first thing after you wake up and get out of the car after hours of being crammed in there is unbelievably important.
7. Let’s talk about the album cover art for “You”. How did you decide on the cover art for this latest single and how do you think it’s set the tone in terms of the song?
OCNS: We actually had a lot of trouble finding exactly what we wanted for this album cover. Everyone agreed that it should be set at night and have some sort of neon lights in it to capture just the way the song felt to us. Dancey and nocturnal. We came across a few street shots that were absolutely beautiful, but weren’t unanimously agreed upon so we continued the search. At some point, Andrew stumbled upon this photo of the palm tree in front of what looks like someone’s house and it clicked immediately with everyone. Isaac and Andrew did some photo editing and tweaking to create what everyone has seen with the song.
8. What’s next for you guys as a band? Tour? Album?
OCNS: Right now, we are focusing on playing shows as much as the six of us possibly can, play where we never have before, as well as writing new material. We hope to put together a more solid release in the coming months, though nothing is currently set in stone. We are working diligently on a multitude of demos, but the finished piece has yet to even be conceptualized.
9. Anything else you would like to add?
OCNS: Thank you for talking to us, listening to us, and hope to talk again in the future! Y’all ask very fun-to-answer questions.