Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes “pop music.” Elisha Kim, lead singer/songwriter of indie-rockers Totoake, sees one unifying attribute.
“To me, pop is just kind of structuring: Verse, chorus, verse chorus, then you have a bridge. You can be as weird as you want to be, if you structure it correctly, and it will probably feel familiar,” Kim says.
He recorded his self-titled debut EP last year—which he did all by his lonesome, minus some drum tracks by Christian Rocha—and had pop music on his mind. It’s an offbeat, surreal batch of lo-fi songs, with elements of post-punk, garage-rock and dream-pop, accompanied by distorted vocals—but it’s really catchy.
“I didn’t grow up listening to more experimental stuff. I always appreciated a catchy song,” Kim says.
Totoake’s EP of unusual pop gems clocks in at just over a half hour. Since releasing it, Kim has assembled a handful of musicians to make Totoake an actual band. Besides himself on guitars and vocals, the band includes Rocha on drums, Sean Lahey on bass and Theodore Heyer on second guitar. They haven’t recorded anything yet as a group, but Kim is anxious to do so, and to see just what direction the band will head in, which he’s thinking will be a little less in the realm of lo-fi bedroom indie-pop.
“All of my band mates are pretty special to me because I took a whole lot of time to actually pick out the ones I wanted to play with,” Kim says. “They are just as much a part of the band as me.”
Totoake plays Saturday, May 24 at 9 p.m. in the Catalyst Atrium. Tickets are $10.