Mikey’s Juke Joint & Eatery (1901 10th Ave. S.W.)
Thursday, July 18, 9 p.m.
Cover charge: $10
Listening to Picture the Ocean‘s take on pop-rock music, one can easily envision the Edmonton band as having five or six members. Sparkling guitars, lush keyboards, rich vocal harmonies and rock-driven percussion combine to build a soundscape as big as the Alberta sky.
But in fact, Picture the Ocean is a trio, powered by long-time rootsy duo Jesse Dee & Jacquie B, along with drummer-vocalist Matt Blackie. Blackie’s addition to the band about two years ago sparked the new name and a change in sound.
“If we have to describe it, we call it alt-pop,” says guitarist and vocalist Jesse Dee, adding that genre categories are getting harder to define as bands erase the boundaries between rock, country, folk and pop. “I think we sit somewhere in the middle of the landscape.”
Dee says the band is currently listening to American rock band Wilco’s 2007 album “Sky Blue Sky” before each show. “This might be one of the best, most diverse and dynamic records ever made. It helps the band get ready to perform.”
Picture the Ocean’s music, as heard on its self-titled 2012 album, has an honest, open sound. Bursts of California sunshine are balanced with hints of folky roots. Fleetwood Mac comes to mind, along with more modern acts like The xx, the Lumineers and the aforementioned Wilco.
A Picture the Ocean show isn’t likely to fit into any stereotype, though. “People can expect to be surprised,” Dee says. “One of the primary goals in the writing process has been to create something original in every sense of the word.
“We’re also running one the world’s most advanced low-tech light shows – it’s something to behold.”