Currently comprised of founding member Emma Hoeflinger (vocals, guitar) and Kurt Kraft (bass), the Nashville, TN-based psych rock/sludge rock Oginalii derive their name from the Cherokee word for “my friend,” and the up-and-coming band can trace their origins to when Hoeflinger was studying at Belmont University back in 2014 — with Kraft joining the band in 2016.
Locally, the act has developed a reputation for a sound that’s difficult to pin down, as their material finds the band at one moment playing slow-burning, dreamy shoegaze and then the next moment playing ripping, sludgy power chords paired with Hoeflinger’s wailing; in fact, from what I understand the Nashville-based trio, who released their critically applauded debut EP earlier this year, won quite bit of attention from crowds at SXSW last week.
Building on the growing buzz that the Nashville, TN-based band has already received for their debut EP, their follow-up EP, The Grey
is slated for an October 20, 2018 and while reportedly continuing in a similar sonic vein as its predecessor, the Curtis Roush-produced and engineered effort thematically focuses on “the grey.” As Hoeflinger explains in press notes, “The grey [as a concept] has been a thing for me my whole life. The in-between. Black and white shuts the demons up, but the grey is always constantly calling my name. It’s in between the grey of things that not a lot of people talk about.” And as a result, the material discusses the sensation of feeling lost, the space between the inner self, which you rarely reveal and the out self, which you present to the world — but interestingly enough the material balancing pensiveness, with a tongue-in-check irony at other points while being self-aware of both. “Substance Abuse,” the EP’s firs single and opening track begins with a slow-burning and mournful jangling reminiscent of Mazzy Star
but boozier and bluesier with a chugging, sludgy chorus and an anthemic, beer raising, fist pumping chorus; however, throughout the song, it’s narrator is desperately and transparently putting on a brave face, smiling and claiming that everything is fine, when it’s obvious that everything is on the verge of complete collapse.
The recently released 360º virtual reality video features the band performing the song in a basement that quickly turns into an eerie and ominous graveyard with bare, swaying trees just above them with haunting cult-like figures surrounding them. It’s incredibly creepy and further evokes the sense that something isn’t quite right.
Oginalii will be embarking on a series of post-SXSW tour dates and it includes two NYC area dates — March 26, 2018 at the Knitting Factory and March 27, 2018 at Piano’s. Check out the tour dates below.
March 22 – Funny Ears Fringe Festival – Knoxville, TN
March 23 – The Ante Room – Charlottesville, VA
March 25 – Brighton Bar – Long Branch, NJ
March 26 – The Knitting Factory – Brooklyn, NY
March 27 – Pianos – New York, NY
March 28 – Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA
March 31 – Georgia Theater Rooftop – Athens, GA