Osaka’s debut EP Manoeuvres provides tunes that allow audiences to lament in emotive dance while being supported by upbeat indie drums and punchy bass lines: an almost cleansing tension relief.
The new Melbourne band are working hard at the fresh age of 20, producing and recording the EP in their attic studio with the help of producer Malcolm Besley (Client Liaison, Snakadktal and City Calm Down).
Merging distorted guitars with a heavy synth presence and sensitive lyricism, the debut EP from Osaka easily sizes up to some of indie pop’s greatest influencers.
“We really want to bring back that magic that indie bands brought us when we saw them up on stage” says lead vocalist Edvard Hakansson on the making of Manoeuvers. “It’s important to us to make the people watching feel something.”
The vocals in Tease sound stylistically similar to The Killers, while in Vessel they feel like a cross between James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem and Eskimo Joe’s Kavyen Temperley folded into an indie-pop mould.
Weight follows dance and indie sensibilities of Metronomy’s The Bay, with strong on-beat lyrics and bass lines: “Miss you in my bed when I’m all alone, I miss you in me bed as I clutch my phone.”
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Clarity starts off with electronic, revved-up drone fading into bright piano and rings of a fast-paced rendition of The District Sleeps Alone Tonight by The Postal Service. Their youthfulness comes out in what feels like a charming, punky, post-pop twist.
Hakansson began working on Osaka while still in high school, where he met his now band-mates and roommates, Gilbert Hulme and Jack McKenzie. The band was relentlessly critical of their sound in that first production phase before taking the tracks to Besley.
“Hulme (bass/keyboard) and I listened really critically, and decided that the songs weren’t what we wanted. So we basically took every single song apart to a bass line or guitar part and rewrote them maybe four times.”
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“We try not to directly listen to what our influences are doing. Instead, we know what we like to hear and always aim to make the music we want to hear – to be that band that we can never find in our library. In our writing, we want you to be able to hear an emotion, and feel it when you listen at a deeper level to the songs.”
Manoeuvres is an exciting start for Osaka, and we’ll definitely be seeing more from them very soon.