Jakob Ogawa makes bubbly bedroom pop | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Jakob Ogawa makes bubbly bedroom pop 

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click to enlarge Jakob Ogawa

Jakob Ogawa

Hedda Rysstad

Twenty-one-year-old Norwegian singer-songwriter Jakob Ogawa titled his 2017 debut EP Bedroom Tapes (Diamond Club), and that’s a pretty good summary of both his methods and his interests. Ogawa’s music is warm, woozy indie pop designed as a soundtrack for cozy loving—think Belle & Sebastian lounging with an extremely chilled-out Pizzicato Five. His first single, 2016’s “You’ll Be on My Mind,” sounds like island music treated to high-gloss production and a fair amount of controlled substances; when he sings “No worries when I’m with you / No raindrops within my view,” he’s not delivering a weather report as much as he’s sharing his ethos. His formula doesn’t provide for a lot of variation (the EP is basically one dreamy groove after another), but the point is to let your eyes cross and drift into your own consciousness, and/or into the consciousness of some significant consenting other. The EP’s standout track, a duet with American lo-fi singer Clairo called “You Might Be Sleeping,” falls along those lines; Clairo answers Ogawa’s croony come-ons with a breathy distance (“Baby when you’re near / It’s warm/ And sad”) before they slide into gentle harmony like they’re sinking into a midafternoon bubble bath. Despite the insularity of Ogawa’s music, it’s very openhearted, and in a live setting it seems likely to inspire much audience sighing and swaying.   v

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