When a close friend took an in-advance listen to Hachiku’s debut album, I’ll Probably Be Asleep, she had one question for bandleader Anika Ostendorf: “‘why are you so angry?’” It’s not the first reaction that most people would have to the Melbourne-based outfit, whose dream-pop jams —all dewy guitars, rickety drum-machines, and layered ambience, topped off with Ostendorf’s oft-breathy voice— would seem to contain no sharp edges.
Ostendorf left for London to study biology, and then, fatefully, spent a year on exchange in Melbourne, with an eye on the city’s famed music scene. Whilst studying, she interned at Milk! Records —the local label made world-famous by Courtney Barnett— from which she took DIY ideals, a strong sense of musical community, and a record deal.
After returning to London to finish a degree she was no longer that interested in finishing —both out of her own stubbornness and at the behest of Milk! boss Jen Cloher— Ostendorf returned to Melbourne. Back in town, she assembled a crack local combo (Georgia Smith, Jessie L. Warren, Simon Reynolds), released the first Hachiku EP, and played countless shows around town; becoming a staple of the music scene she once looked at, longingly, from afar. Hachiku played with Barnett, Cloher, Stella Donnelly, Aldous Harding; supported The Breeders and José González on national tours; and opened for Cloher and Snail Mail on European tours.
I’ll Probably Be Asleep portrays much of that background, that sense of travel and wandering. It was recorded, Ostendorf says, in countless locations, here and there: from houses in Australia and Germany to backyard sheds, rehearsal rooms, and the Milk! warehouse.