The Most Stylish Band You’ve Ever Heard
Susan Domelsmith isn’t with the band. She’s in it. Four years ago, the designer behind jewelry line Dirty Librarian Chains started making music with Jill Bradshaw, now the trend director at Stylesight, eventually forming Open Ocean. These days, it’s Susan manning the keyboard, Jill singing and playing bass, Sarah Frances Kuhn (a Teen Vogue editor and the brains behind the rad camera straps of SFK) working the guitar and doing some vocals, and Angela Barrow (a stylist with her own line Cheek-ie) rocking out on the drums. Here, Susan offers us some insights on Open Ocean, and—in case you want some audio to go along with your visuals—you can download songs off of the act’s EP for free over at Bandcamp.
From left: Angela, Sarah, Susan, and Jill, as photographed by Mariesa Conmay.
“Well, to be honest, we were all really involved in music. We would go out and see our friends who are DJs and in bands, and we noticed they were all guys. We were like, ‘You know what? Why don’t we do this ourselves?’ It’s been really fun, and we’ve come a long way.”
At Open Ocean’s first big show, at the Williamsburg venue Bruar Falls.
“I Heart [a now-closed boutique in Nolita] was our first practice space—Jill used to own the store—and apparently it was Sonic Youth’s old practice space, too. The Beastie Boys also worked out of there at some point back in the day. There were a lot of good vibes going on in there.”
Susan playing keyboard on Sarah’s roof, taken by Peter Beste.
“We just did a video shoot. It was two days in a row when I was right in the middle of shipping all my fall orders. It was like, “AH!” But it was really worth it. The first day we went to Fort Tilden. The next day we did a mini-fake show on Sarah’s roof. It was really windy, and the streamers were blowing around like crazy. I can’t wait to see it!”