Elise Okusami, who has played drums in Vagabon and the Adventures of the Silver Spaceman, also makes shimmering indie rock as Oceanator. On “Afternoon,” a highlight from her debut, self-titled EP, Okusami layers her lovesickness and loneliness over an unexpected backdrop of bubbly 1980s synthpop and crisp percussion. The resulting hodgepodge revels in half-made decisions and unrequited longing.
“Afternoon” begins with Okusami biking through fog towards someone she loves, proceeding with caution through uncertain terrain. Her praise of her partner is backhanded at best: “You looked into my eyes/ And you didn’t tell me lies/ It was the one thing I could never fault you on.” Despite her ambivalence, the bass and synth surrounding her explode with pure joy. Brimming with confidence, these instrumental interludes demonstrate her musical knack for pivoting from quiet introspection to bubbly dance beats. Okusami’s love song may have an unfinished ending, but it leaves her finding solace in her own company.