‘Okinawan Love Songs’ is the follow-up EP to last year’s debut full-length from Ogikubo Station, the musical project formed between Mike Park (he of Asian Man Records and many other musical escapades) and Maura Weaver (of Mixtapes). Dan Andriano also plays bass on this EP. I’ve got to say, this is the first time I’ve properly sat down and listened to an Ogikubo Station release (I somehow let the previous two releases pass me by), and yep, I’ve slept on something else. The melodies on the Okinawan Love Songs EP are pretty great. I can’t resist some good ol’ boy-girl dual vocals and these two have got it down to a tee.
Ogikubo Station play broadly what can be categorised as indie-pop, I guess, and from what I’ve heard, this largely sounds like a continuation of their last LP. Maura largely leads on vocals on here, with Mike joining for the choruses or as backing vocals here and there. Their vocals work wonderfully together and there is a ton of heart on these well-written tracks. Ogikubo Station have the melodic sensibilities and charm of indie-pop bands like Lemuria, Alvvays and Best Coast. I particularly hear the latter on the opening track “Would I Break My Heart Enough For You” which is very well-constructed, upbeat and summer-y. I say ‘summer-y’ in the same way that Best Coast evoke California in their melodies. The hooks in the chorus have something of a Martha feel to them, which is always a huge compliment. “Spend Some Time With Me” slows things down and is a little less memorable. It is a decent slice of twee and love-struck indie-pop that is reminiscent of She & Him a little. The last ‘bonus’ track is a cover of They Might Be Giants’ “Dr. Worm” and is maybe my favourite from the EP. Ogikubo Station retain the lo-fi charm of the original, having recorded the song as if on an old tinny transistor radio. Come on, try to get this out of your head: “They call me Dr. Worm/ Good morning, how are you? I’m Dr. Worm/ I’m interested in things, I’m not a real doctor/ But I am a real worm, I am an actual worm, I live like a worm”. So good!
Check it out here: https://asianmanrecords.bandcamp.com/album/okinawan-love-songs