Bedroom and lo-fi hip-hop and pop have been a favorite ever since discovering some of the heavyweights on different YouTube playlists back in 2014. While lo-fi went through an explosion because of its relaxed, approachable, and do-it-yourself appeal, Jakob Ogawa is an artist that subtly shuffled into the playlists after his 2017 release, Bedroom Tapes.
It was a sound that became capsulized and personified by the sunrise, or rather the sunset into the darkness of a perfect day. A sound that was almost indescribable, but everyone had felt before. That feeling of bliss, the first approach of warm weather after a cold winter that raised hope for the incoming dawn. Ogawa captures this sense of gleaming touch, the smell of the woods burning into the falling day, and the passion of the home recording studio.
Bedroom Tapestaps with only five tracks, a short, but necessary realization as it grazes different emotional monuments throughout. Obtaining to a keen audience, Ogawa appeals to the in-betweeners of pop music and atmospheric. It is a steady balance that makes the Bedroom Tapes have this overpowering bass that feels sentimental and almost moves with these graceful touches of true love and the tenderness mixed with something more powerful.
Opening with “Up and Away”, There is this somberness behind the piano and clasping synth pads. It works with the almost out of breath vocalization from Ogawa which fits well into this emotional sandwich of both the beauty of instrumentation, but the pain of loss. The way his voice goes in and out of inflection displays these sense of how the notes can be formed to invoke the audience to get a grasp on the feelings of Ogawa.
“Perfect Sweet Blue” follows in a similar fashion of “Up and Away” where the instrumentation is a more flat, but forward approach that acts as more of an interlude. As the piano chords start to really sink in and create this ambiance behind the sound, it gives the Bedroom Tapessome substance and difference between the individual tracks. This is where “Next To Me” forms and is more upbeat, creating a dance and movement behind the normally somber display. It is gorgeous, fulfilling, and creates this distance between the other tracks.
The glittering guitar and snap of the snare works in tangent to form the backbone as Ogawa delivers a higher-pitched vocal delivery of ad-libs and some lyrical poetry. The entire mix on the track bears directly on the bass line that forms behind the action to create a structure and ability that leads into the final, last moments of the EP.
“Let It Pass” is the real stunner of Bedroom Tapes where Ogawa is just simply magnificent behind the music. The glimmering style that glosses over is almost indescribable. The sound becomes this glorious mix of guitar solos, chimes, percussion, and beautiful performances on the vocals that stand out for its simple grace. There is beauty behind the magic on Bedroom Tapes, and Ogawa moves quickly and occupies for a short time, but is quite actually everlasting in style and sound.