Surf Away to Brighter Days in Sydney with Ocean Alley
travel guide

Ocean Alley are riding the waves into the US with their sophomore effort, Chiaroscuro.

The Australian sextet, made up of Baden Donegal (vocals), Angus Goodwin (guitar), Nic Blom (bass), Lach Galbraith (keys/vocals), Mitch Galbraith (guitar) and Tom O’Brien (drums), has already found success with their debut album Lost Tropics and their first two EP’s. Now they are returning to US waters to share their most recent foray.

Their sound is a mix of surf-rock, reggae, indie, funk, soul and psychedelic. However you want to label it, it is infectious. It has swing, it has groove, it has charm. The Sydney-based band will take their talents on the road in May. Check out their music video for “Confidence” and their guide to Sydney below!

What’s your go to place to grab a cup of coffee for a morning sesh?
2KF is great hole in the wall spot in Mona Vale. They do a tasty, strong coffee real quick and the gents behind the machine are always good for a chat.

Favorite brunch spot?
Zubi Bar at Bilgola beach do nice food with a view of the surf. It’s a great spot to kick back and re-fuel as you watch the waves roll in.

Favorite surf shop in Sydney?
Glass Avenue in Newport is a sweet little store selling mostly surf apparel and accessories. We head in the to have a chat with the owner Rabbit. He has a cute dog that hangs there too.

The best beaches for surfing for both beginners and the more advanced?
Most of the beaches north of Sydney have setups with varying degrees of difficulty but Long Reef would have to take the cake when it comes to options. There is always shelter somewhere from prevailing conditions and also some big bombies out off the end of the reef if you’re keen to get flogged.

Where to grab dinner and a refreshing cocktail after a long day outside?
The Newport is a great pub with a huge beer garden on the bay side of the peninsula. An arvo beer in the sun while you watch the boats is never a bad option. It’s always offshore at the Newport if ya know what I mean.

Favorite venue for a show?
Moonshine Bar in Manly is good fun and there is always live music on there. We love to go watch local bands smash it out there while we enjoy a drink on the verandah over-looking Manly beach.

If you could describe Sydney’s surf scene in a few words, what would they be?
Too Many People

What the heck does surfing have to do with music and how has it affected your sound?
When you’re surfing or playing music a lot of it comes down to getting in the zone or ‘groove’. A lot of the time while you’re on a wave you don’t have to think to hard about what your doing. Instead, you feel what to do and feel what the wave is doing under your board. It’s the same with music, especially improvising. A lot of the time you don’t think about it you just do it. You feel the rhythm and react un-knowingly but still accordingly. Surfing is important for us because it’s a good way to unwind and great exercise. It teaches you to go with the flow and relinquish control to the elements and Mother Nature. Some of the best music happens when musicians do the same thing.

photo by: Tom Hanks/Flickr