Oceanator Shares New Song “Stuck” and Covers Elliott Smith’s “The Biggest Lie” | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024  

Oceanator Shares New Song “Stuck” and Covers Elliott Smith’s “The Biggest Lie”

Nothing’s Ever Fine Due Out April 8 via Polyvinyl; Her Elliott Smith Cover is from our Covers of Covers Album

Mar 08, 2022 Photography by Alex Joseph
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Oceanator, aka Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter/guitarist Elise Okusami, is releasing a new album, Nothing’s Ever Fine, on April 8 via Polyvinyl. Now she has shared another song from it, “Stuck,” via a lyric video. Oceanator is one of the artists on our Covers of Covers album, which came out last Friday via American Laundromat. She covers Elliott Smith’s “The Biggest Lie.” Check out both “Stuck” and the Smith cover below.

Okusami co-produced Nothing’s Ever Fine with Bartees Strange and her brother and longtime bandmate Mike Okusami.

Okusami had this to say about “Stuck” in a press release: “‘Stuck’ is about that feeling of all your collective traumas, disappointments, and general sadness just accumulating over the years and weighing you down more and more. I wrote this song the very first day I got my new baritone guitar. Bartees and Mike really helped me bring out the heaviness I was looking for with it in the studio, really helping me dial in a great guitar tone. We borrowed a double kick pedal for this song and Andrew Whitehurst nailed the drums. Eva Lawitts did the bass remote and I think the bass line is perfect.”

When Nothing’s Ever Fine was announced, Oceanator shared its first single, “Bad Brain Daze,” via a video that also features a cameo from Jeff Rosenstock (who plays saxophone on the song). “Bad Brain Daze” was one of our Songs of the Week.

Nothing’s Ever Fine is Oceanator’s sophomore album, the follow-up to her debut album, Things I Never Said, which initially came out in August 2020 via her own Plastic Miracles label and then was reissued physically in February 2021 by Polyvinyl. It was one of our Top 100 Albums of 2020.

Nothing’s Ever Fine was recorded at Falls Church, VA’s 38 North and at Mike Okusami’s space in Maryland, with the parts recorded separately as overdubs, rather than live. Most of the album’s tracks feature drums from longtime Oceanator collaborator Andrew Whitehurst.

Oceanator and Jeff Rosenstock are labelmates and toured together in 2021, which is how he ended up on “Bad Brain Daze.” Of touring with Rosenstock, Okusami says: “It felt like going on tour with a bunch of friends. It felt cool to know that even as shows get bigger, we could still have a little community.”

Okusami had this to say about her Elliott Smith cover in a statement to Under the Radar (we were the last magazine to conduct an interview and photo shoot with Smith before his tragic death): “I chose to do an Elliott Smith song for this cover because I have a very strong memory of reading that last interview with Elliott and there’s always a lingering Elliott—Under the Radar connection in the back of my mind. So it seemed fitting for this comp that that’s the artist I would choose. And I picked this song ‘The Biggest Lie’ because it’s also particularly relevant to that time in my life. They’re just really linked for me.

“In recording the cover I was sort of approaching it like, ‘What would this sound like if it was performed live with a full band,’ kind of the way he did with Christian Brothers and some of the other acoustic songs from time to time. And then we went from there. I recorded it in the basement with my brother Mike Okusami, who played the bass and Rhodes on it. I did the drums and the guitars. We had a lot of fun bringing it to life.”

Read our interview with Oceanator about Things I Never Said.

Read our rave review of Things I Never Said here.

Oceanator Tour Dates:

04/05 - Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory
04/10 - Champaign, IL @ Polyvinyl Patio
04/12 - Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar #
04/13 - Tulsa, OK @ The Vanguard #
04/14 - Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater #
04/15 - Austin, TX @ Mohawk #
04/16 - Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall #
04/18 - Birmingham, AL @ Saturn #
04/19 - Nashville, TN @ Basement East #
04/20 - Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West #
04/21 - Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle #
04/23 - Washington, DC @ Black Cat #
04/24 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer #
04/25 - Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg #
04/26 - Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall #
04/28 - Millvale, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre #
04/29 - Columbus, OH @ Skullys #
04/30 - Indianapolis, IN @ HI-FI #
05/01 - Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall #
05/03 - Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line #
05/20 - Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom %
05/21 - Pomona, CA @ The Glass House %
05/22 - Los Angeles, CA @ Regent Theater %
05/24 - San Francisco, CA @ August Hall %
05/26 - Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom %
05/27 - Seattle, WA @ The Showbox %
05/29 - Boise, ID @ The Olympic Venue %
05/30 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall %
05/31 - Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall %
06/03 - Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues Cleveland $
06/04 - Royal Oak, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre $
06/05 - Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s $
06/06 - Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall Ballroom $
06/08 - Indianapolis, IN @ Hi-Fi Annex (Behind Hi-Fi) $
06/09 - Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theatre $
06/10 - St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant $
06/11 - Nashville, TN @ Brooklyn Bowl $
06/13 - Charleston, SC @ Charleston Music Hall $
06/14 - Columbia, SC @ The Senate $
06/15 - Norfolk, VA @ The Norva $
06/17 - Holyoke, MA @ Race Street Live $
06/18 - Buffalo, NY @ Ashbury Hall - Babeville $

# w/ Pedro The Lion
% w/ Tim Casher, Laura Jane Grace, Anthony Green
$ w/Pup

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