Brooklyn rock singer/songwriter Elise Okusami has announced her second album as Oceanator, Nothing’s Ever Fine, coming April 8 on Polyvinyl Record Co., and co-produced by Bartees Strange. Lead single “Bad Brain Daze” is out now, along with a music video directed by Chris Farren and featuring a cameo from Jeff Rosenstock.
“Bad Brain Daze” is all too relatable, a ska-tinged power-pop anthem about that feeling of impending mental unrest. “There’s a fog on the horizon / I can’t see it, but I feel it comin’ on / Drops like a bomb,” Okusami sings over upbeat electric guitar chords, her chipper vocals joined by backing horns in the hooky choruses. Those horns erupt into a full-blown saxophone solo halfway through—in the live-action/animation hybrid video, this is the part where Rosenstock shows up as “Saxophone Man,” rocking out only to be torn apart by malevolent cartoon critters. Okusami persists through a singalong bridge (“Another bad brain day / I can’t seem to shake / The feeling it’ll always be this way / I’ll never be okay”), her worries compounding as they refuse to fade, lively synths falling in alongside her voice. “Go to bed and start again tomorrow,” she ultimately tells herself, all any of us can do.
Farren says of the “Bad Brain Daze” video in a statement:
When Elise asked me to direct a music video for her, I thought “I don’t know how to do that!” but I said “Yes! I know how to do that!” and quietly panicked for the next 3 weeks. Luckily “how make music video” yields tons of YouTube results. The video we came up with is a fantastical little day-in-the-life tale about anxiety, productivity, dread, and being horrifically ripped in half by cartoon animals.
The follow-up to Oceanator’s acclaimed 2020 debut Things I Never Said, Nothing’s Ever Fine began as a short film script before the polymathic Okusami opted to set its themes to music instead. The earliest track dates back to 2014, with several others written on (or after) tours to follow, all of which Okusami updated and demoed alone at home in 2019-2020—the result is her project’s “heaviest collection yet,” per a press release.
Oceanator will hit the road in support of Pedro the Lion starting this April, playing 18 U.S. shows from April 12 to May 3. You’ll find the band’s complete itinerary down below.
Watch the “Bad Brain Daze” video below and see the details of Nothing’s Ever Fine further down, along with Oceanator’s tour dates. You can preorder the new album right here.
Nothing’s Ever Fine Tracklist:
02. Nightmare Machine
03. The Last Summer
04. Beach Days (Alive Again)
05. Solar Flares
06. Post Meridian
08. From the Van
09. Bad Brain Daze
10. Summer Rain
Nothing’s Ever Fine Art:
Oceanator Tour Dates:
05 – Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory
10 – Champaign, IL @ Polyvinyl Patio
12 – Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar #
13 – Tulsa, OK @ The Vanguard #
14 – Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater #
15 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk #
16 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall #
18 – Birmingham, AL @ Saturn #
19 – Nashville, TN @ Basement East #
20 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West #
21 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle #
23 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat #
24 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer #
25 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg #
26 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall #
28 – Millvale, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre #
29 – Columbus, OH @ Skullys #
30 – Indianapolis, IN @ HI-FI #
01 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall #
03 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line #
(# – w/ Pedro The Lion)