Soft Focus is the follow-up to Melbourne band The Ocean Party’s excellent third album, Split, and finds the band capturing a broader audience.
The quintet experiment with a wider sound palette, wrapping instruments in layers of production. Sundown trumpets send Went Out to the horizon, and a saxophone solo closes out the most upbeat number Head Down. Cut Throat rides gently on some twinkling composition and reflects the band’s ability to draw songs out into richer forms.
Nothing feels gratuitous; every sound adds to the emotional story of the songs, with instrumentation carefully smeared through the tracks.