Say hello to Ocean Glass, the newest indie-rock addition to the Champaign-Urbana music scene.
Although the band started in 2012, the band as it’s known today is a relatively new creation. It took the group awhile to really starting making a name for themselves in the local scene. Now with a finalized lineup, Ocean Glass is more ready than ever to get word around that they’re here to play as often as possible.
Nishat Ahmed, who is the lead vocalist of the group, is actually the only original member of Ocean Glass. He and old members of the band would seldom play in Champaign-Urbana in the past due to complications with scheduling and distance. Ahmed was forced to put the project aside for awhile as the other members went to focus on school. But after making some calls and jamming around with new and old friends this past summer, Ahmed welcomed Kyle Solner, Wes Harman, Justin Isler and Luke Smith as permanent members of the group.
Although they have not yet released any music with the new lineup, Ocean Glass has been working hard and fast to establish their presence in the local scene. Each member lives in Urbana, which makes it easy for everyone to be fully immersed in the writing process. Assembling for practice comes pretty easy for them, too.
“It’s nice to actually be able to write songs with the guys and figure out what the hell we’re doing,” Ahmed says.
Every members attends either the University of Illinois or Parkland College, but despite being students they leave just enough time to write, rehearse and stay active with the band in every way possible.
Solner, who plays rhythm guitar and provides backing vocals, is determined to keep their community involvement flowing.
“We’re consistent with content, in terms of what we put out. So even our recording is probably going to be little by little because while we’re all on campus,” he said.
Although the band still intends on leaving a couple old songs in their setlist, they are mainly focused right now on writing and releasing new music with the current lineup. The band is hoping to release a couple of new singles within a month or so, and potentially a full length album by the time next semester rolls around.
Ocean Glass’s music is upbeat and lyrically heartfelt. Ahmed, Sole and Harman have all participated in choir, which everyone agrees helps tremendously with writing harmonies and giving each song a fulfilling structure.
Ocean Glass have an easygoing energy that makes them seem like they’d be a great fit to play your next living room show, and there’s a good chance they actually would, too. But whether they are playing in someone’s house or in jam-packed venue, Ocean Glass are always set on having a good time.
“Whether it’s one person or 100, you give them the same damn show every time,” Ahmed said.
He and the rest of the band agree that while they hope people enjoy what they play, they write music for themselves first and foremost.
“We write what we like to write and if people like it, that’s beautiful.”
As fun as house shows can be, Ocean Glass is just as eager to be opening for Into It. Over It. this Monday night at the Highdive in Champaign. IIOI’s lead songwriter and vocalist Evan Weiss has “done huge things for the Illinois music scene,” according to Ahmed, who is especially stoked about playing sharing the stage with Weiss.
“It’s an honor to play for someone who I’ve looked up to a lot.”
Ocean Glass and Euriah will open for Into It. Over It. on Monday, October 26 at The Highdive. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. $10. Ages 19+.