Blurring the line between reality and an intoxicating dreamscape, “Every Time I See the Ocean,” by LA-based artist Cassie Marin, is the soundtrack for a self-exploring journey beyond consciousness.
Soulful and immersive, the track is vivid and scenic in a sonic sense. The rhythmic nature of the song feels in sync with the pattern of oceanic waves, at times, even the electro statics of the song echo the sounds of seagulls. Marin’s soft and sensual vocal, then, is the lone soul in this vastness of waves and emotions.
“‘Every Time I See the Ocean’ is ultimately about feeling alienated,” Marin says, “feeling misunderstood by everyone your entire life, feeling like you feel and notice things to an uncomfortable extreme, in ways that others don’t — making it difficult to relate to others, peers, everyone really. It is about searching for acceptance in a world where people expect you to remain the same, finding comfort in change, finding growth in solitude, pain and discomfort.”
She continues, “‘I pray that someday you feel the motion I do’ means that I hope one day someone, somewhere, can truly understand the weight of what I feel inside; this responsibility is so great, I cannot ignore it or escape from it. I hope someday I am able to feel understood by another human being.”
Nothing portrays alienation better than the open sea. The ocean has a natural sense of polarity, which makes one feel alone in its immensity and embraced by the waves at the same time. “Every Time I See the Ocean” perfectly captures this strangely comforting sense of eeriness. Marin’s vocal quite literally floats through the silky production of the track. In a stream-of-consciousness style, her vocal playfully shifts with the changing rhythm of the song. The opening synth chords, then, serve as the only constant in this sonic world of peace and chaos. Though emotional and turbulent, this song is powerful and steady at the same time.
While the ocean serves as one of the most popular motifs in pop music, in “Every Time I See the Ocean,” it comes to live through Marin’s almost visual depictions of waves and motions. For this, she explains, “The involvement of the ocean is a bit more personal, it comes from the memories I have growing up near the beach. I didn’t have many friends or siblings to play with me but somehow the ocean had a presence so strong I forgot about my feelings of loneliness as a child when I would swim the water. I remember day dreaming while swimming underwater and using my imagination in ways that felt so close to magic than ever before. I believe that I really do change more drastically when I visit the ocean, it’s like taking a vitamin that induces me to refresh and be deeply honest with myself.”
In comparison to her two previous singles, “Tanto” and “Busy Body,” “Every Time I See the Ocean” slows down and reveals a more intricate side of Marin’s artistic identity. But as usual, she demonstrates her strength with rhythms and storytelling, as well as her ability to provide an immersive experience.