New Audio: Renowned Aussie Folk Duo Oh, Pep! Returns with a Jangling and Hook-Driven Take on Americana

Comprised of Olivia Hally and Pepita Emmerichs, the renowned Melbourne, Australia-based folk duo Oh, Pep! can trace the origins of the group to when they met while they were were both studying at a music secondary school, and as the story goes as soon as the met began writing music together. Now, as you may recall with the release of three critically praised EPs, the duo received a rapidly growing national and international profile — they played a series of attention-grabbing, widely praised at the CMJ Festival, which were praised by  KCRW, and NPR’Bob Boilen, who later invited the duo and their backing band to perform a NPR Tiny Desk Concert set. The duo also made appearances at a number of prominent folk festivals, including The Woodford Folk FestivalPort Fairy Folk FestivalThe National Folk Festival in Canberra, and Folk Alliance International, Kansas City, and at the 2014 The Age Music Victoria Awards, the duo was nominated in the Young Folk Performer of the Year and Best Folk Roots Category, winning the nod for Young Folk Performer of the Year.

2016’s Daniel Ledwell-produced full-length debut Stadium Cake found the duo subtly expanding upon the songwriting approach and sound that first won them national and international attention — their uncanny ability to write buoyant and ethereal pop with an underlying bittersweet sadness, centered around fully-fleshed out characters, who suffered from self-doubt, heartache, confusion, crippling indecision and a seeming inability to figure out how to move forward with their lives, all while their cohorts rush past them with successful lives.

The duo’s soon-to-be released sophomore album I Wasn’t Only Thinking About You . . . is slated for an October 26, 2018 release through ATO Records, and the album reportedly finds Hally and Emmerich exploring the melody-rich expanse between indie pop, alt-folk and folk but through the prism of a women who have both come of age and have seen quite a bit of the world. They’ve accomplished most of their goals and dreams rather quickly  — and when that happens there’s this overwhelming sense of “Well, now what? What’s next?” And typically, there are two responses: you contently sit back and rest on your laurels — or you push yourself out of comfort zone. “This album is a darker form of pop than we have played before,” Pepita Emmerich says in press notes. “Basically Liv wrote a bunch of hits.”

After touring to support Stadium Cake, Olivia Halley had become an in-demand songwriter. “With this album, in particular, I did a lot of sessions with other people. They weren’t necessarily sessions that were for the album. But every now and then, I’d be writing a song and take a fancy to it, then Pep and I would Oh Pep!-ify it together,” Halley says of the album that was written in New York, Nashville, Los Angeles and Melbourne and was largely inspired by her travels over the course of 2017 and 2018.  Interestingly, I Wasn’t Only Thinking About You . . . ‘s third and latest single, the jangling and anthemic  “Your Nail and Your Hammer” was inspired by words written on her wall in Nashville,  and the city’s long-held reputation for being the home of country and Americana — with a pop leaning, hook-driven sensibility; but while further cementing their reputation for breezy and infectious songs, the song evokes the sensation of someone’s mind whirring and grinding with the obsession over a brief and perhaps fleeting moment with another that leaves you wondering for weeks afterwards.

The duo recently embarked on their Stateside tour to support the soon-to-be released album, which began with a handful of West Coast dates and continues with an October 25, 2018 stop at Rough Trade. There’s a lengthy European leg and homeland leg, too. Check out the tour dates below.

Tour Dates:
*with Gregory Alan Isakov
+with Middle Kids
Oct 18 – Emo’s – Austin, TX*
Oct 19 – Granada Theatre – Dallas, TX*
Oct 20 – Truman – Kansas City, MO*
Oct 22 – World Cafe Live Upstairs, Philadelphia, PA
Oct 23 – U Street Music Hall – Washington D.C.
Oct 25 – Rough Trade – Brooklyn, NY
Oct 29 – Baby G’s – Toronto, ONT
Nov 02 – Supersonic – Paris, France+
Nov 03 – Botanique – Brussels, Belgium+
Nov 04 – MTC – Cologne, Germany+
Nov 05 – Paradiso – Amsterdam, Netherlands+
Nov 07 – Molotow – Hamburg, Germany+
Nov 08 – Ideal Bar – Copenhagen, Denmark+
Nov 09 – Kantine am Berghain – Berlin, Germany+
Nov 11 – Chelsea Club – Vienna, Austria+
Nov 13 – Kranhalle – Munich, Germany+
Nov 14 – Mascotte – Zurich, Switzerland+
Nov 16th – The Islington, London
Nov 23 – Queenscliff Music Festival – Queenscliff, VIC, Australia
Nov 30 – Fairgrounds Festival – Berry, NSW, Australia
Dec 01 – Corner Hotel – Richmond, VIC, Australia
Dec 08 – The Old Museum – Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Dec 14 – The Wheatsheaf – Thebarton, SA, Australia
Dec 15 – Mojo’s Bar – Freemantle, WA, Australia
Jan 11 – The Landsdowne, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Feb 25 – Barboza – Seattle, WA
Feb 26 – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR
Mar 1 – The Moroccan Lounge – Los Angeles, CA
Mar 2 – Club Congress – Tuscon, AZ
Mar 5 – Stubbs – Austin, TX
Mar 6 – Three Links – Dallas, TX
Mar 8 – The High Watt – Nashville, TN
Mar 9 – The Earl – Atlanta, GA
Mar 10 – The Pinhook – Durham, NC
Mar 15 – Great Scott – Allston, MA
Mar 20 – El Club – Detroit, MI
Mar 21 – Schuba’s – Chicago, IL
Mar 22 – Back Room at Colectivo Coffee – Milwaukee, WI
Mar 23 – 7th St. Entry – Minneapolis, MN
Mar 24 – The Raccoon Motel – Davenport, IA
Mar 25 – Reverb – Omaha, NE