The Frozen Ocean is an experimental one-man rock band out of Connecticut, and that one man is Dave Swanson. The Frozen Ocean released its S/T album in 2008 to good reviews.Now Dave, with an assist from some friends (Matt Griener of August Burns Red and Andy Nelson of Wrench in the Works RIP), is embarking on a new adventure in music.
Caught in the Air” is an intro into this beautiful sound scape of an adventure which beckons the listener to come along for the ride. The music on this track feels like the sun coming up in the early hours of a peaceful morning; having no lyrics makes it even more peaceful. Second up is “Empty Seed ” which has a major bluegrass and country sound to it with an acoustic guitar driving the whole song along. Dave’s vocals onthispieceare raw and gruff (all throughout this album Dave’s voice has this Irish or Scottish tang to it). The lyrics could be about the love we should have for God and fora husband or wife. “Phantoms” is a spooky and darker-themed song than the above ones. The music consists of a drum and synth-laden sound and Dave’s vocals fit with the darker theme up until the end when they bloom like a spring flower out of winter. Here Dave sings about how people start to question God and don’t even believe in Him until the end when they finally realize they need Him.
My favorite track on this album is the very mysterious “Drawing Circles in the Sand.” The music is very interesting; it sounds like Future of Forestry meets Joy Electric meets Starflyer 59 mixed in with its own emo/indie sound. The lyrics are very cryptic but my guess is they are about giving your life to Jesus. “In The Garden” is the most biblically blatant song name on the album. The banjo takes center stage while it strums along and Dave’s vocals blast you with the most sincere performance on this album. The meaning behind this song is dying and going from here to Heaven.
“In Flight” is another double-sided-meaning song: it could be about a relationship with God or a spouse. The electric guitar rears its head on this track with some sweet lines in the middle of the song. Throughout this album the drums are like hidden gems but finally you really start to notice them on this track. The funkiest song on the album is “Promised Land”; the Irish flavor absolutely appears in its fullest here. Again the drum played by Andy Nelson shows up on this track strongly with a rat-a-tat beat. This song is about a real yearning for Heaven. Dave’s vocals fit perfectly with their gruff tone and a real sort of Irish feel to them.
In Exile shows what this unknown band can do which is to create beautiful stories with its music. Dave Swanson shows that he is a genius in creating truly unique tracks and then making them fit together like they were meant for each other. The guest players Matt Griener and Andy Nelson make this a greater album with the addition of their instruments. If you were a listener before you’re going to love In Exile.If you have never heard of The Frozen Ocean then I suggest you check out this album along with their S/T album.