Finally, the wait is over. All-female and all-powerful, psychedelic rock quartet The Oogars have just unveiled their highly-anticipated debut EP Waiting All Day, and after finding ourselves shrouded in a musical mist of hazy, sun-drenched, surf-psych deliciousness, we’re pleased to announce that it was well worth the wait.
Hailing from the NSW Northern Rivers, The Oogars have been making waves in the coastal music scene and beyond since forming in 2018, performing across Australia and Europe, as well as touring with the likes of The Babe Rainbow, Nice Biscuit and most recently, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard.
Working hard to create a unique sound that artfully fuses the group’s combined musical influences, including 50’s surf rock, Middle Eastern psychedelia and garage classics, The Oogars are forging their own path, delivering sonically dynamic songs, enchanting vocals and empowering lyricism.
Drawn together by their shared desire to create music, and perhaps some help from the universe, The Oogars, compromising of Gemma Owens (vocalist/guitar), Emily-Grace Lawlor (bassist/vocalist), Daniella Cassimatis (drums) and Tanisha Cook (vocals/keys/guitar), bring a bright, spiritual energy to their sound, drawing on their connection to nature and each other to uplift and inspire.
"Oogar", meaning to be very open minded, is an apt description of these four women and the music they create, evident in debut EP Waiting All Day. Melding four arresting tracks, the EP represents the transition the band faced in order to pursue their calling; leaving behind societal expectations, diverging career paths and previous lifestyles. Bassist Emily further explains the inspiration behind the EP.
“There’s an irony to the EP title as it feels like we have made listeners wait longer than expected for new music. Through the entire EP we wanted to encapsulate the shedding of our past lives and letting go of all that was before us and embracing what is to come and that ever-changing cycle.”
Wasting no time, Waiting All Day opens with leading single ‘Girl in the Mirror’, a quirky track surging with surf-rock riffs, rumbling drums and commanding vocals. Encouraging honest self-reflection and the importance of being true to oneself, ‘Girl in the Mirror’ contains confronting revelations, however remains playful with warm guitar layers, a salty sea breeze of overarching surf guitar licks and vocal exuberance.
With help from director Millicent Notman, The Oogars also took the creative lead in the track’s colourful music video, showcasing their impressive acting skills as they portray four women trapped in a life that no longer serves them.
If ‘Girl in the Mirror’ sees The Oogars leaning more towards their surf-rock influences, then ‘Rapids’ finds them in the desert, charming snakes (and listeners) with hypnotic vocal harmonies and scorching Middle Eastern chord patterns. Travelling alongside The Oogars on this psychedelic journey, we are quickly enveloped by luring synths and a gripping groove of bongos, drums and bass. Like a mirage, the chorus appears with a chanting mantra, teasing the mind with deep desires before falling into a woozy daze of distorted instrumental prowess.
“‘Rapids’ is an expression of an overwhelmed mind striving to surrender and flow, letting an idea grow and take over you.”
At the heart of this EP, we find title-track ‘Waiting All Day’, an upbeat song about discontentment disguised within joyful, uplifting indie-rock. Verses bursting with sun-soaked guitar hooks and bubbly vocals juxtapose the song’s underlying theme, which explores monotony and desperation for a change. The almost monotone delivery of the chorus draws attention to the song's meaning, long notes and descending chords conveying impatience and boredom, as if standing in a line that never moves forward, continually checking the time and making no progress.
“‘Waiting All Day’ is about reaching that point where you feel like you have nothing more to give and you are calling on something greater. It’s the darkness before things eventually begin to lighten, the stagnancy before the flow."
A dripping bass line beneath lilting vocal harmonies signals the beginning of the end. ‘Ultra’, the last song on the EP, shudders with almost eight minutes of trance-inducing psych-rock waves, ebbing and flowing between tempos and vocal emphasis. Like the ocean, ‘Ultra’ continues to build, repeating the infectious melody with layers of synths, guitar and chanting vocals, until a quickened tempo creates a tidal wave of sound. 'Ultra' keeps you on your toes with a final instrumental breakdown and epic lead guitar solo, providing a worthy end to the track, and EP.
The Oogars delivered a balanced, considered and well-executed debut EP in Waiting All Day, aptly introducing themselves to the world with four spellbinding songs. It is clear that these women are a force to be reckoned with, bringing confidence, authenticity and grace to their music and performances. A formidable debut EP, Waiting All Day confirms that The Oogars are something special and definitely ones to watch, proving that good things come to those who wait...
Waiting All Day was recorded and produced in Byron Bay with Jordan Power, with additional mixing and mastering by Rick Snowden of Third Eye Stimuli Records.