Elijah Ocean gives an encouraging perspective to “Ride It Out,” an acoustic gem from a new album that’s arriving in October. The harmonies enhance the feel of the song, which isn’t exactly a happy-go-lucky tune.
“I don’t remember writing the song with anyone specific in mind, but I do remember imagining the person staying strong while dying in a hospital bed. I think I drew from several real-life experiences and sort of mixed them all up,” Ocean tells CMT Edge.
“There’s an image in the third verse about picking roses which I took from a memory I have of bringing my mother flowers in her bed when I was a kid,” he adds. “It’s a happy memory and she’s alive and well, but I left the ending of the story ambiguous as to whether or not the person lives or dies. They could be funeral flowers.”
Ocean grew up in Maine and began writing songs on an acoustic guitar in the family’s barn. His early musical inspirations include Willie Nelson, the Beatles and Paul Simon. Today, his own music falls in the same realm as Gram Parsons, The Band and Neil Young.
His upcoming album, Bring It All In, was recorded at Waterfront Studios in Hudson, New York. The beautiful studio is built inside an old church, complete with stained glass windows letting the light stream through.
“My teeth and lips were purple because I was drinking wine the entire time,” he recalls with a smile.
His friends Eric Ambrose and Sarah Durning lend their harmonies to “Ride It Out,” which Ocean wrote when the three of them had been playing shows as a trio.
“Harmonies are probably one of my favorite things about music, and I think this song lends itself really well to that with its simple, repetitive chorus,” he says. “They are such great singers and have keen instincts on when to sing and when not to. I think the contrast between the solo voice and the group sound is what works. It’s a special moment when you put it in the right place.”
Enjoy Elijah Ocean’s “Ride It Out.”