Melbourne’s Oh Pep! – a duo comprising of Olivia Hally and Pepita Emmerichs – have just released their sophomore full-length I Wasn’t Only Thinking About You… Filled with clever lyrics that weave around souring violin melodies, the 10-track album is a solid follow-up to the duo’s 2016 debut Stadium Cake.
I Wasn’t Only Thinking About You… was produced with Eskimo Joe’s Joel Quartermain in Melbourne (with the exception of a few songs such as ‘Bleeding Hearts’ and ‘Hurt Nobody’), and the recording of all instruments was covered internally.
Earlier this year I had a chat with Olivia Hally about the recording process for the album, during which she mentioned how the process differed from their previous works.
“It was us in the studio for most of the time, and we did all of the instruments between us,” Hally commented. “In the past we would have had a band, or people to come in to do drums or bass but we covered it all between us this time around.”
The record opens with ’25’, a song that sees Hally using her extensive vocal range and singing simple-yet-beautiful lyrics like “if I stare in one place for more than three seconds/I come down and my heartbeat lessens”. The violin in the chorus fits the song well and adds to the intensity of emotion coming through the words.
Bleak lyrics conveyed through gorgeous melodies are a bit of a running theme for this record, and it’s a combination Oh Pep! do well. The chorus melody for ‘Hurt Nobody’ is hauntingly beautiful, and the song as a whole sounds kind of like a cross between The National and Taylor Swift. ‘Truths’ is another gorgeous track, with a catchy chorus and lyrics that speak of self-awareness and determination: “I know that I am mean to you/and it breaks my heart in two/but I’ve got something I need to prove”.
The album’s lead single ‘What’s The Deal With David?’ has a more upbeat, indie-pop vibe. With a light, infectious chorus, the song could easily fit in on the soundtrack for a feel-good Summer movie. Hally says she wrote the song for bandmate Pepi Emmerichs.
“It’s that excited energy about two friends talking about their love life,” Hally says.
‘Bleeding Hearts’ is another song on the upbeat side, featuring a mandolin strumming a steady rhythm. There’s some clever, outside-the-box rhyming on this track, with lines like: “loose change for pizza/loose change for flying home/doesn’t take much to defeat ya/words are worse than broken bones”.
The final song on the album ‘There Would Be a Riot’ is a soft, swaying folk-pop number with ethereal vocals and a tambourine. The lyrics are sweet, with the first chorus ending with the repetition of a single phrase: “you are crucial to my heart”.
At just 34 minutes, I Wasn’t Only Thinking About You… is on the shorter side for a full-length, but it manages to express a lot in that half-hour. The album is definitely worth giving a listen if you dig indie-pop that has a little bit of a darker edge to it.