“Sincere” is not a word to be used lightly, because, frankly, it’s far overused, and doesn’t always carry with it the gravitas it deserves. But it’s hard to avoid the term when discussing Ocean Carolina, the folksy brainchild of singer/songwriter and guitarist Michael Simone.
Perhaps some of the tender honesty of his work comes from Simone’s rediscovery of his personal passion for music, and subsequent move away from the world of EDM, in which he worked as a successful producer for years. Another simple truth of the sweet, evocative power of his tunes, evident in our Elmore exclusive premiere, “Nobody Wants to Cry,” is that he writes from his experiences. On the sparse, mellow track with a delicate hint of twang, Simone recounts a bittersweet relationship from his past. “I was on the rebound from a long-term relationship that had lost all physical intimacy,” Simone told Elmore, “and got mixed up with someone that re-kindled the sexual side of me, but wasn’t able to offer anything back emotionally. This ended up creating sort of a Stockholm Syndrome situation, where instead of walking away, I ended up putting up with the push and pull of someone that couldn’t make up their mind of having me in their life. It’s about accepting that defeat, hoping you could change someone’s mind by simply being you, but in the end, neither side wanting to lose something that’s really only bound by physical chemistry.”
With a well-worn croon reminiscent of masters Tom Petty and Neil Young, and a gentle balance of musical elements that will have you hitting repeat, Simone proves that sincerity pays, and as long as music is Ocean Carolina’s therapy, we’ll be listening.
Give “Nobody Wants to Cry” a listen below, and stay on the lookout for Maudlin Days, the band’s new album that is set to be released June 30 by Old Hand Record Company.