If you call Okey Dokey an indie pop band, they’ll only take issue with the “band” part of that descriptor; Once Upon One Time is their first album as a trio, but in practice, it was a far more collaborative affair than that.
Founding members Aaron Martin and Johny Fisher and official new addition Jeremy Clark, who’s been their recording guru from the start, are drawn to breezily infectious melodies.
Aspects of their new songs hearken back to thoroughly familiar and accessible templates: doo-wop; adult contemporary balladry; sophisticated chamber pop. But Martin’s choice of words, as primary lyricist, put a gently idiosyncratic, self-aware and personalized spin on wistful sentiments, and the textures, tones and field-recorded noises that Okey Dokey layers onto hand-played instruments smudge and warp the edges of everything.
That’s not just Clark, Fisher and Martin’s doing; they asked producers and mixing engineers behind indie bands they’ve long admired—including Poolside, Darkside, Grizzly Bear, My Morning Jacket and the Shins—to take those dozen tracks and do some additional sculpting. They actually wanted all those fingerprints to be evident on the final pleasing product.