Hachiku’s ‘I’ll Probably Be Asleep’ is one of the best Melbourne albums of 2020

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Hachiku’s ‘I’ll Probably Be Asleep’ is one of the best Melbourne albums of 2020

Image by Marcelle Bradbeer
Words by Jakeb Smith

The Melbourne-beloved Hachiku is here with her debut album.

The debut album from Melbourne’s Hachiku, aka Anika Ostendorf, breaks like a lush summer storm. The title track opens the record with a muted squall of guitar feedback that shrouds the first verse. As the band kicks in, the dream pop songwriter begins to gently eviscerate a would-be know-it-all, “It’s true that you’re exceptional/But everybody is/Control your thoughts, not everything you think is how it is.

Far more restless than fragile, Ostendorf’s patented breathy lyrics punctuate the waves of echoing guitar on ‘Busy Being Boring’. ‘You’ll Probably Think This Song Is About You’ expands the formula to include rippling layers of vocal harmonies and a twinkling cosmos of synths. ‘Bridging Visa B’ then adds an intoxicating energy with a driving backbeat, galloping cowbell, and woozy slide guitar.

The momentum shifts again on ‘Dreams of Galapagos’, which slowly garners a sweet, flighty tension that never stops building. ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman’ then releases this latent energy, resolving melodies at the end of each phrase with blooming cymbal crashes, each one more dopamine-inducing than the last.

Stand-out track ‘Shark Attack’ is immediately nostalgic, harkening back to the pre-COVID era of its release late last year. Already a haunting tearjerker about a deceased family dog, it’s now a weaponisation of pure human sadness. “Your smell it lingers/A remnant of the past/You lick my fingers/Saliva doesn’t last,” Ostendorf yearns.

‘Murray’s Lullaby’ closes the record with a little calypso ditty reverberating through the same imaginary island cathedral that Hachiku seems to broadcast from. It’s this sense of space, of dreamy exoticism, that is so beautifully captured on I’ll Probably Be Asleep.

For a city that was recently trapped in a 111-day lockdown, the record seems like a vivid memory of everything we left behind, and with its sun-drenched instrumentation, is surely destined to become the soundtrack to a well-deserved summer as well.


I’ll Probably Be Asleep is out now via Milk! Records.

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