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New NOKIES!: “Oslo”

Well this opening paragraph sounds cliche – band known for manic, shouty indie-pop munches on some Ritalin and gets all wistful. Said group records a slightly more reeled in song, featuring piano and clearly melancholic lyrics and other signs of “maturation.” Features black and white cover art. Osaka’s NOKIES! are the latest to follow this press-release-ready storyline on new song “Oslo.”

This isn’t a complete change for the band – various points across the five-minute “Oslo” feature NOKIES! giddying-up and moving at the same pace as their earlier tunes. Yet this new song usually unfolds a little slower than previous efforts, and finds a copious amount of piano and strings adding a dash of heavy emotions. When the band gets really subdued – like on the barely-there bridge midway through “Oslo” – it sounds strange and not really a big strength for these youngsters. Yet when they blur the line between sappy and sped-up the results are much better. And then there is the finale, which completely validates “Oslo” and makes everything that came before completely worth it. Basically the last minute of this track finds NOKIES! just completely letting go and giving into whatever feelings caused this song to exist in the first place. The final rush, filled with wordless murmuring trying to float towards the sky, sounds like the Arcade Fire at their most cathartic. If NOKIES! can continue to create payoffs like that, they can force me to write whatever cliches they want. Listen below.

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