aomame is a lo-fi duo comprised of siblings August and Clara, who named their project after the Japanese word for “green pea”, evoking a feeling of being new and inexperienced at life. The duo, however, is far from inexperienced, as they recently released their second EP “so sorries”.
The second I pressed play, I was carried through an ethereal dreamland filled with gentle melodies and airy vocals. It’s almost impossible to pick a favourite song, but “go 2nite” is top tier — it exudes an intoxicating nostalgia. Had this song existed in 2006, I definitely would have downloaded it onto my fifth-generation iPod. “go 2nite” would haven been on loop as I unpacked my belongings in my stereotypically Y2K university dorm room.
Clara’s voice has a celestial softness that melds seamlessly with the calming soundscapes crafted by August. While some siblings build forts with blankets and pillows, aomame build a universe of breezy vocals set to a buttery audio backdrop. As an only child, I’ve been told I was lucky not having to put up with an annoying younger brother or sister. However, aomame’s harmonious collaboration puts the strength of sibling bonds to music. It is comforting to experience this unique relationship on some level.
Clara and August have opposite personalities; the former is more outgoing, while the latter is more introverted. Their musical project provided an outlet to find common ground. It also gave them a meaningful reason to stay connected in a period of life where siblings often drift apart.
“We probably wouldn’t be in touch every day, if it wasn’t for the music,” the band explains. “The music is indispensable and really ties us together. The fact that we share this project forces us to actually catch up with one another – both with the practical stuff but also how both of us are doing.”
Their differences may have caused friction growing up, but the pair have learnt to embrace their distinct characteristics while being creative together. “The best thing about working with Clara is that we create something, we create complete songs and the music suddenly makes sense,” August says. “It’s really awesome that Clara gives me so much space to do the things I do best and have a say in. She isn’t afraid of speaking her mind, but she never tries to control me.”
aomame allowed them to build a space where each could fully be themselves while still sharing ideas and supporting the other. “We are always really optimistic towards each other,” Clara adds, “I would probably never have released any music if it wasn’t for August. If he wasn’t able to see the potential in my writing and didn’t express his desire to further develop my lyrics. My musical motivation is encouraged by how August greets me with his positive energy.”
The duo’s name may suggest inexperience, but the collaboration has resulted in a well-rounded EP with a simple complexity that lends itself to reflection. As a result, it has earne a permanent spot on my journaling playlist. Light a candle, grab your favourite beverage, wrap yourself up in the fuzziest blanket you own, and immerse yourself in aomame’s velvety atmosphere.
Words by Angie Leon.