I think I have found the soundtrack to Brooklyn hipster life, and it came from Australia. Oh Pep! is an Australian folk duo that connected on their eccentric approaches on music. They are basically the dream every pair of best friends wishes to accomplish together: an awesome band.
As you listen to their debut album, Stadium Cake, you understand why Olivia Hally and Pepita Emmerichs so deeply connected over music. They love the strange details that make a song memorable, whether it be the frenetic drums and guitar strums in Bushwick or the claps and vocal annotations they use in The Race. These are two women that did not simply connect because of talent but because of vision. They see, feel, and compose music with a weird-wide eye that unravels layers of songs like, colorful streamers. This vision allows them to give folk music a sense of imagination and vibrant story-telling that many feel it has been lacking in its modern era.
With songs like Seven Babies, Doctor Doctor, and Afterwards, Oh Pep! reminds lovers of folk music that what makes this genre so romancing is not it just its vulnerability but also its fantasticalness. The intricate framework of each song down to a singular beat, allows Oh Pep! to create a world through Stadium Cake. You feel like, you have entered an adult cartoon based in Millennial life. I say cartoon because this album is too colorful in sound to be live-action, but it is that vivid portrait of life that makes it young and human. Every Millennial will listen to this album, and oddly feel spoken for. It captures the small, routine nuances of love, money, work, and dreams, i.e. life. Yet, what makes Stadium Cake really rich is that it legitimately feels like Brooklyn’s hipster culture.
It is a unique experience when you literally hear a culture, especially one that has boggled and entranced youth: hipsterism. Kind of the 2016 versions of hippies, hipsters are the Millennial counter-culture. They are highly- educated, faithful to creativity, and are financially broke but spiritually optimistic. Hipsters truly are a marvel, which makes Stadium Cake a marvel, as well. For however philosophical and piercing the music is, Olivia Hally and Pepita Emmerichs vocally approach each song with a casual, straight tone. Though they harmonize beautifully, the charm of their voices is that they do not feel forced or like they are trying. Their voice simply and gracefully emanates from them, which sums up hipsters in odd way. Their youth and passion at making their lives a work of art is an initiative that just comes from them: not a force or a farce. It just is. Hence, Oh Pep! represents Meillennials, hipsters, and anyone whom want to prove that seeing things differently is not different at all.
Bushwick: three words- BROOKLYN HIPSTER ANTHEM!
Doctor Doctor: Do not be fooled by its noir-esque instrumentals nor its interplay of an incredibly fun chorus. This song’s depth lies in its embodiment of something we all feel and do: “I know what I want is not what I need”. This repeated hook and lyric is a magnetic look into a reality we have all faced, whether it be through dreams or lovers. We all want something with passion, while secretly knowing it is not good for or fulfilling to us.
Afterwards: this dark, moody song feels like the aftermath of a break-up. Like it songstresses, you are casually picking up the pieces of your heart through melancholic, but resilient rhythms.
Seven Babies: This songs feels sonically fragmented between various rock genres: one minute its surf rock then its folk rock then its indie. Playful drums and guitars interplay as Hally and Emmerichs endear with a melody that makes you happily think, “I’m going to lose myself!”.
The Race: (my favorite song) This song shines to me because of the range, pitch, and tone that Oh Pep! uses to build a musical instruction manual on love. Through, instrumentally, it will leave listeners smiling, for me, it is the subtle, vocal annotations that make this song shine.
Click Here to buy Stadium Cake and learn more about Oh Pep!