Album Review: Hachiku – Self-Titled (2017 EP)

Hachiku’s upcoming self-titled EP is dreamy. That sounds like a disingenuous, relatively vague description of the fuzzy beats and twinkly melodies, but Hachiku – otherwise known as Anika Ostendorf – has these deft, light vocals, sung in a clipped, wide-eyed accent are just that – dreamy. It’s an early summer, soft-lights-and-cool-water kind of sound, and it is extremely reminiscent of The Postal Service – although there’s also a dash of Bright Eyes and an unexpected hit of original flavour Crystal Castles.

The EP, released June 2nd, is both ponderous and immediate, a very chill record that, at 5 songs, still manages to be tight and to the point. The songs fit together and flow well, like the soundtrack to a short film that takes place in the Pacific Northwest – it has that kind of narrative, whimsical feel that gathers depth the more time you’re willing to give it. From the cool, muted guitar layered over an old-school digital drum beat in the first track, “Zombie Slayer” (sidenote: good name!), the Hachiku EP is a fuzzy, digital-analogue blend that reminds me of the best indie/emo bedroom dream pop from the early 2000s – again, if you’re into The Postal Service you’ll enjoy Hachiku.

The only part of the EP that falls flat is the middle song of the five, “Moon Face”, which is also the first single. It’s not a bad song, exactly, it’s just a little long, and a little less fun-dreamy and more meandering-dreamy. But it’s still a sweet-sounding song, and Ostendorf’s vocals have the personality to carry it.

All up, this EP is a lovely, slightly-spooky daydream of an introduction to an artist who is already gaining attention both here and overseas for her smart, eclectic, glittery music.

Review Score: 7.2 out of 10

Hachiku is available from June 2nd as a digital download through Milk! Records.