Jack Johnson salutes the blissful solitude of surfing life with his revamped version of “Only the Ocean,” featured on the recently issued soundtrack to coming-of-age film drama The Tribes of Palos Verdes.
“When this world’s too much, it will be/Only the ocean and me,” Johnson sings over hazy E-bow guitars and twinkling piano on the breezy track. The singer-songwriter first recorded “Only the Ocean” for his fifth LP, 2010’s To the Sea, but re-recorded the tune for the film’s final scene. The song continues his long-term collaboration with Tribes directors Emmett and Brendan Malloy, who have helmed several videos for Johnson.
“It’s amazing to see my good friends Emmett and Brendan Malloy progress from the surf films that we made together when younger to the feature length films they are making now,” Johnson tells Rolling Stone. “I’m honored to contribute a song to this beautiful film.”
The Tribes of Palos Verdes follows teenage protagonist Medina (Maika Monroe) as she deals with several family crises – her parents’ disintegrating marriage, her brother’s drug use – through her growing passion for surfing. The “Only the Ocean” clip finds Medina surfing and gazing out at the water.
The film’s soundtrack also features an original song from Bahamas, along with material from King Krule, Jamie xx, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Tomorrow’s Tulips, Cherry Glazerr, Braden Miller and the film’s score composer, Gustavo Santaolalla.
In September, Johnson released All the Light Above It Too, his first LP in four years.