Oginalii is a Nashville-based rock band with a dense sound that’s impossible to pin down. One minute they’re psychedelically lulling you into a druggy head-bob, and the next they’re ripping sludge rock, making you want to throw a beer can and light a cigarette in a dimly lit basement.
The band, whose name translates to “my friend” in the Cherokee language, was formed four years ago in Nashville at Belmont University when Emma Hoeflinger (vocals/guitar) and Karalyne Winegarner (vocals/drums) met on the hall they shared, adding bassist Kürt Kraft to the mix in fall of 2016. Hoeflinger wields a voice that is at times jarringly pretty—a pleasing juxtaposition to the dirty chugging guitar she loves to sing over—and at others unnervingly raw and loud. Winegarner goes toe to toe with her, both instrumentally and vocally, in a blend which went down oh-so-smooth with the crowds who saw Oginalii play their showcase at South by Southwest in March of this year.
Oginalii is set to release their sophomore EP The Grey on October 20, and it promises to maintain the trajectory. No, this isn’t an EP inspired by the Liam Neeson Alaskan survival movie, though if there was a genre called “wolf-punch rock,” this might be that sound.
The Grey was produced and engineered by Curtis Roush of Bright Light Social Hour in his studio on Lake Travis in Austin, Texas, and mixed and mastered by Erik Wofford (Black Angels, Holy Wave, Explosions in The Sky, Pure X….etc.).
“The grey [as a concept] has been a thing for me my whole life,” reveals Hoeflinger about the album. “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.”
Glide is proud to premiere The Grey EP in its entirety a rollicking affair that combines the DIY songwriting charm of Courtney Barnett with the elongated musical ingenuity of Sonic Youth. Oginalii reminds listeners of the glory days of 90’s college rock, where guitar, fuzz and a good holler makes for a powerful rock statement.
As a listener, if you can keep still while listening to a single track on The Grey, you’re either impressively self-disciplined or clinically impenetrable. The release as a whole is musically challenging and dynamic, comprised of defiant, relentless guitar riffs and complicated time signatures, with each musician proving their mettle track by track.
“I think that this new EP is going to show people that we should be taken seriously and we’re not people to fuck with. Don’t fuck with us,” adds Hoefinger, quickly disclaiming, ”but fuck with us, because we also like to have a good time.”