Review: Ogikubo Station – Okinawan Love Songs

Ogikubo Station is the collaboration between Maura Weaver of the band Mixtapes and Mike Park, founder of Asian Man Records. Their music is simple chords and melodies, made for fun, or so they say. Clearly, they’re underselling themselves. 2018’s debut album ‘We Can Pretend Like’ was a delightful slice of indie-pop, driven by the sweet interplay between their voices and styles. New EP ‘Okinawan Love Songs’ continues to ride their creative peak.

Based in separate parts of America, the duo writes by bouncing ideas back and forth until they are satisfied. The results speak for themselves. Everything here is sure and solid, while never losing its sense of purpose.

Would I Break My Heart Enough For You’ creates the sound of a late summer’s evening with its carefully strummed chords. It’s a warm, punky sound which, combined with curious lyricism, brings to mind bands like Martha.  ‘Spend Some Time With Me’ is a little darker with a slice of lead guitar bringing an extra edge. Dan Andriano from Alkaline Trio lends his bass skills to both songs, bringing an upbeat vibe, helping lift them above the band’s earlier work.

If you’re feeling generous you could say ‘Dr. Worm’ pads out the EP. If not, you might say it spoils it. In essence, it’s a cover of a They Might Be Giants song.  The sound is lovingly replicated here; tinny, distant and even ends with a beep.  However, despite succeeding at its aims, its childish lyrics become extremely irritating even after a few listens. It takes almost a thousand years for its less-than-humorous refrain to roll around. Fittingly, it also manages to be earworm, so you won’t be able to forget it either.

Ogikubo Station’s charms shine brightly on this indie-pop EP. Including the interesting homage lowers the overall estimation, but the two brilliant original tracks make it worth seeking out.

3.5/5

Okinawan Love Songs’ by Ogikubo Station is released on 14th June on Asian Man Records.

Ogikubo Station links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bandcamp

Words by Ian Kenworthy (@WhisperingSand)

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