Alas, The Ocean is an indie folk-pop outfit that grew from the yearning heart of multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Allen Rapadas back in high school. Like many young artists with a passionate outlook and a lovesick heart, Allen wrote songs that acted as personal letters and an outlet for self-expression through the raw emotion of the acoustic style. What started as writing a song for a girl grew into something bigger and better through the nurturing environment of a genuine passion for music.
The project’s initial efforts included recording alongside family friend and fellow musician, David DeWolfe, in his home studio back in Calgary, Alberta. The two musicians worked closely together to producer Alas, The Ocean’s debut self-titled album which was released in the summer of 2011 before touring together, playing multiple shows across the United States. What really drives the project for Allen is his unwavering passion for music and dreaming big: “This answer is terribly cliché, but what really drives this project is my love of music,” he says. “Music is all I’ve ever really known, and I feel happiest when I’m doing music. Alas, the Ocean is really more of a challenge for me though; I want to see how far I can take it and to see how much I can improve myself with it.”
Alas, The Ocean has since then grew from a solo act into a full six-piece band, recruiting guitarist Brett Doyle, bassist Malcolm Wanless, Drummer Rudy Mallat, pianist Karen O’Mahony, and vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Amanda Doucette in the summer of 2012. Not only has there been growth in the number of the talented and diverse new additional members to the project, Allen has also experienced a growth stemming from the project: “I’ve definitely found that over the past two years that my songwriting has exponentially improved,” says Allen. “Earlier on, most of my songs were about weaving stories together in a way that felt comfortable to me. I wrote songs about the awkward moments of teenage life, the transition into getting older and the memories and relationships we make during them. Each of my songs was a letter written to myself, to remind myself of the lessons I’ve learned, and the people I’ve affected. In more recently written songs, there’s a sense that I’ve grown not only as a musician but also as a person.”
While Alas, The Ocean has yet to perform together as a complete, full band, the outfit is currently busy practicing and perfecting their sound together. The outfit’s immediate main goal is to get into the studio and finish recording their debut album as a full band and to start booking more local shows. Big plans include touring by next Summer with even bigger dreams aimed at playing the prestigious NXNE music festival. The band is always dreaming big and as Amanda Doucette asserts, everyone is willing to work hard and wherever it may take them, is 100% along for the ride.