As coming together stories go, the three members of Oya Paya have a good one; bassist Saam Jafarzadeh and drummer Ashwin Menon were once schoolmates in far off Singapore, when after subsequently enrolling at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts they met French born Maxime McGowan and the whole thing just sort of instantly clicked.
Predictably, three sons of the playlist generation each have eclectic tastes. But on their first longer player the trio – who describe themselves as ‘a smelly group of twenty-somethings making spicy music’ – have narrowed their grooves here down to the sound of indie-esque crowd pleasers, with the likes of Beck, Blur and Super Furry Animals along for the ride.
Finished off remotely over a distance of 4,000 miles with each member Pandemically displaced somewhere or other, their six-track new relase Connect doesn’t sound like a bits and pieces record, opener Focus having that Albarn-type swagger with the trio in a wristy groove whilst earlier single Pretty Slick has a more lo-fi, all back to ours feel. With 25 years of history in the rear view mirror the boys are also wise enough to avoid the late 90’s obvious musical excesses, so they do pastoral indie (Bones) Yankee college rawk (Monkeys) and glam (closer Millions) with affection but also a healthily modern skew.
Liverpool is the kind of place that’s always not only been kind to refugees but offered them access to a two way street of creative reciprocity. Connect comes from all around the world, but equally it sounds right enough just playing in your back yard.
You can listen to Connect here.