After being nominated in the “Breakthrough Group of the Year” category for the Juno Awards of 2013, Hey Ocean! somewhat disappeared, going on hiatus and subsequently not releasing an album since “IS” over 5 years ago. Since then, lead-singer, Ashleigh Ball, has released her own solo-album and become a recognized voice talent for many toyetic movies and television series. After voicing many characters in the television show My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Ashleigh has gained a following among the “Broney” community, a subculture of male My Little Pony enthusiasts. Other members of Hey Ocean! include, David Beckingham and David Vertesi.
Ashleigh’s gentle vocals and Beckingham’s complementary backing vocals create a smooth, almost gentle sound. The first track “Amsterdam” is a blast, driving pop-rock with extremely catchy hooks and enough going on in the lyrics. In fact, the first three tracks are all exceptionally fun driving tunes, that challenge any more popular synth-pop tunes of the day. This album isn’t onesided, the title track, “The Hurt of Happiness” brings influences of 70’s rock, with a rolling bass line and harmonic vocals from Beckingham and Ball.
Overall this may be the bands strongest release and though it has been a year since the band shared the first single, Sleepwalker, to fans, the remainder of the album complements it nicely.