Ocean Pleasant – ‘Ungrateful Daughter’ EP

Houston-based artist Ocean Pleasant delivers an introspective folk success with the Ungrateful Daughter EP. Melodic songwriting comes alongside visceral lyrical explorations of childhood and the role of matriarchs, inspired by the artist’s falling out of touch with her mother, and the self-exploration that ensued. The sacrifice of a mother – sometimes coming too soon – is paid homage to, while also exploring the intricacies of mother-daughter relationships with resentment and reverence involved.

Gentle acoustics and spacey synths stir on the opening “First Ring,” exploring the power of enduring friendship — even despite large distances and infrequent contact. “The worst part is, you don’t mind the distance,” the vocals excel. “I’d answer on the first ring, but you never call,” they let out into hooky guitar radiance; lyrical conveying of a continued adoration, even in the face of disconnect, makes for a heartrending kick-off to the EP.

“Sky is Less Blue” weaves a comforting folk familiarity with its twangy acoustics and narrating vocal prowess. The title-touting sequence injects a dreamy acoustical caressing alongside, meshing a country-folk entrancement with a lushly absorbing rise. “Don’t Want Kids” follows with a crunchy rock demeanor, lamenting on a tumultuous childhood and the effect — “you’re the reason why I don’t want kids, no I can’t risk making someone else feel like this.” The subsequent interlude compels in its dreamy forgiveness — “I don’t hold it against her,” — and playing poignantly as a follow-up to “Don’t Want Kids,” lending a sympathetic ear to the struggles of a young mother.

“Off the Clock” concludes the EP with cathartic retrospection. “You never made me feel like the fault was mine,” the vocals admit, resonating with aforementioned moments of trauma, though also acknowledging a mother that did the best they could. “I was too young to be grateful, 17 years you gave all you got,” they continue, ending the EP with an evident appreciation that’s full of heart and emotion. Ungrateful Daughter is a moving success of an EP from Ocean Pleasant.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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