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Denver, Colorado, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Denver, Colorado, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Pop Dream Pop




"MOKB Premiere : OKO TYGRA : “Plasticine”"

Many great stories often come about after traumatic events in people’s lives. Denver outfit OKO TYGRA are one of those stories. Principle Joshua Novak suffered severe head injuries that were life threatening in an accident. During the aftermath, he came to realization that he wanted his life to take another direction, thus OKO TYGRA came out of the rubble drawing inspiration from their affection for Slowdive and Cocteau Twins.

On March 3rd, they will be releasing their Glass Jaw/Plasticine 7″ through Egghunt Records. The result of the release is a soothing, intricate blend of dreampop that allows darker tones to softly land on a pillowy base. They have already revealed the shimmering “Glass Jaw”, now we have the equally satisfying “Plasticine”. Listen below. - My Old Kentucky Blog

"Exclusive Premiere: OKO TYGRA’s “Glass Jaw” Music Video and Interview"

Mondays suck, but we don’t care because today, we’re excited to premiere Denver dream pop quartet OKO TYGRA’s new music video for their single, “Glass Jaw.”

OKO TYGRA began with a head injury. Some time ago, lead vocalist and guitarist Joshua Novak was involved in an accident that left him with in a life-threatening state of cranial carnage. Spoiler alert: he’s fine, but when confronted with that near-death experience, he decided that something needed to change in his life. And thus, OKO TYGRA was conceived, the result of Joshua throwing caution to the wind and doing what he really wanted to do. And thank god, because OKO Tygra’s hazy, atmospheric psych-pop is fucking good.

Though they’ve only been together for about a year, they’ve headlined all their first shows, opened for national acts like HIGH ENDS and were the only band to represent Colorado in last year’s CMJ in New York.

OKO TYGRA are releasing a 7ʼʼ vinyl on EggHunt Records (White Laces, Sun Machines) in March, which they’re working on with Snake Rattle Rattle Snakeʼs, Wilson Helmericks. And if their record sounds anything like the dark and stormy lovechild of Slowdive and the Cocteau Twins that characterizes “Glass Jaw,” we reckon we’ll be burning off the grooves of that vinyl.

With regards to the video, well, … sometimes you’ve just gotta make a music video with a plastic hand stroking a Barbie’s face with all the earnest tenderness of lovers reunited after decades of war.

Check it out and scroll down to read our exclusive interview with the band... - IHEARTCOMIX

"Week in Pop: OKO TYGRA"

It has often been said by gurus, oracles, and therapists everywhere that music is one of the greatest catharses that humankind has ever known. Take the case of Denver, Colorado’s Joshua Novak who began Oko Tygra after surviving serious head trauma, where the healing process initiated the projected that would translate experiences of being into new audio lifeforms. With a profound resolve, Oko Tygra took shape in full bloom, and full force, with the forthcoming Glass Jaw/Plasticine 7″ available March 3 from Egghunt Records, and we are proud to present the following listen to the a-side.

“Glass Jaw” beams and slowly burns bright like watching campfire flames wave like orange and yellow silk in slow motion. The courses of life’s fragile realities are examined with keys that adorn electric guitar cadences that counts glass hearts, glass jars, glass stones, glass figures, glass eyes, glass scars, and more. Houses and mansions of glass are observed in a world of care, caution, and a beautiful kind of chaos reign together. The bricks, mortar, and metal of hardened earth become immediately transformed by Joshua Novak’s vision to be the most precious, fragile, and beautiful things in the world to cherish. Joshua joins us after our following debut of “Glass Jaw”. - Impose Magazine

"Sound of Ceres, Plume Varia & OKO TYGRA at the Oriental Theater in Denver (review)"

There are certain musicians and listeners who believe that music should test you... Three local acts set out to prove this theory on Saturday at the Oriental Theater... OKO TYGRA opened the show brilliantly: brash, polished and immediately commanding attention. Between the exquisite vocal force that is Joshua Novak and the gauzy guitar textures, there was a lot to take in. The four members (guitar, bass, drums, with Novak on vocals, keys and guitar) filled the Oriental with revelatory, Cocteau Twins (among others)-inspired sonics. OKO TYGRA appears not only ready for SXSW in a few weeks, but, hopefully some well-deserved national recognition. With a standout performance like Saturday night, it seems inevitable. - Denver Post - Reverb

"TOP POPS! Tei Shi, Shy Girls, Oko Tygra, Force Publique"

Featured here are the two tracks from the Denver four-piece Oko Tygra’s latest 7″. As it creeps up like a slow burn, “Glass Jaw” is a prime example of the band’s blissful use of restraint, and “Plasticine” gets better and better with every listen. As with most dream pop, the idea is not necessarily to blow minds here — and the band readily references Slow Dive and Cocteau Twins as influences — but just like those artists, it is a feel, a mood immemorial, which one sometimes just can’t help but turn to for mellowed out satisfaction. - Redefine Magazine

"Oko Tygra Is Proud to Represent Denver at CMJ in New York This Week"

Oko Tygra is one of the Denver bands representing the Mile High City at this year's CMJ in New York City. The group is slated to play at Niagra on Wednesday, October 22. For a group that started in March 2014, getting selected for CMJ is certainly an achievement. For songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Joshua Novak, it's also a bit of a way for him to break with his past and establish a new musical identity as well. Recruiting a couple of old friends, bassist Tyler Rima and drummer Neil Robertson, as well as a gem of a Craigslist find in guitarist Russell Ault, Novak was able to realize a vision for starting the kind of band that had bright, hazy atmospheres and finely textured melodies. - Denver Westword

"Get to know a Denver band: Oko Tygra"

"Denver dream pop quartet Oko Tygra have been together for less than a year but were the only Mile High City band to perform at CMJ in New York City this October. Additionally, the group recorded their 7” vinyl release with Wilson Helmericks from Snake Rattle Rattle Snake. Oko Tygra’s lead vocalist and guitarist, Joshua Novak, sat down with AXS to discuss the band’s whirlwind 2014 in this exclusive interview." - AXS

"Best shows this week: The Decemberists, Oko Tygra and more"

"The Decemberists, Oko Tygra and more make our picks of the best Denver-area shows this week...

Along with bands like Shady Elders, Inner Oceans and Rose Quartz, Oko Tygra is leading Denver’s growing dream/synth-pop scene. A relatively new act, Oko Tygra has already represented the state nationally at CMJ and SXSW. On Glass Jaw, the band blends dark dancefloor production, with shimmering pop hooks. The music has a mysterious atmosphere without being too heavy or cerebral — it’s moody, but still fun. On May 23, the band is celebrating its 7″ release on EggHunt Records at the Hi-Dive. The night also brings promising Fort Collins Dream Pop act Sound of Ceres." - Denver Post - Hey Reverb

"Syntax Physic Opera proves its potential on opening weekend"

Combining organic percussion with a drummer and a drum machine, the band had some complex rhythms that somehow felt pretty straightforward. There were times that the band explored the tonal swirl one heard in old Slowdive songs, threading its way through the melody. The subtle dub composition of at least one song along with the hushed and hypnotic songwriting had that calming yet dream-provoking quality of Lucifer period Peaking Lights. Refreshingly eclectic in its songwriting, Oko Tygra not only more than hinted at its future promise, it ushered in the promise of Syntax Physic Opera as a place to see artists not short on a sense of grace and sophistication. - Denver Westword

"Oko Tygra, "Glass Jaw""

We know you’ve heard too many synths in the last year, and dream pop is becoming as overcrowded as the Duggar household, but we’re smitten with the new sounds from Oko Tygra. Joshua Novak, the man behind Oko Tygra, cites Cocteau Twins as an early influence and it’s an easy connection to make with the sweet surrounding synths of “Glass Jaw.” It’s quicker for you to just listen yourself than for us to go into why we love this four-minute cloudmood. - Stereo Subversion


Oko Tygra is lead by the intrepid Denver staple, Joshua Novak, who recently was placed in the top 20 of 560 bands in The Denver Post’s Best of The Underground. Oko Tygra is Novak’s dark and dreamy counterpart and they “just finished recording two songs with Wilson Helmericks from Snake Rattle Rattle Snake, which (they) plan on releasing on a 7” sometime within the next couple of months. The songs explore apathy, youth, and learning to let go of ghosts.”~ Joshua Novak. - Moon Magnet


It’s here again, you guys…the World Cup of music the music industry (aka CMJ 2014) will kick off its marathon madness tomorrow (10/21) and go-go-go until Saturday (10/25). The beauty of the upcoming few days is that you can stumble upon your new favorite band that (as of this writing) you may not even know EXISTS, but with so so SO many shows and showcases happening, navigating the whole thing can be a little (read: a lot) overwhelming. That’s why we’ve gone ahead and listened to EVERY (yes, every) artist OFFICIALLY listed on the CMJ roster for this year, and we’ve whittled your choices down from an alleged thirteen hundred plus acts... OKO TYGRA Niagara 10/22 (4:45-5:15pm) - BrightestYoungThings.com

"The Awful Truth: 120: The Underground Music showcase"

“I was mostly impressed, I think one of the best bands I saw this weekend… the band was called OKO TYGRA and it was just really chill music, kind of vibey, it was chord-ey, simple pop song structure type stuff but it had really good grooves. It was chill. All of their tones were spot on. Everything was super tight… It was really good. I was really impressed.” - The Awful Truth

"Your guide to local music at Westword Music Showcase"

"With more than 100 local and national bands packed into one day in Denver, the Westword Music Showcase is like an adrenaline shot of music. From beginning to end, it’s in total about 10 hours of bands, and in that time you have quite a bit to see. This means making some tough decisions. To help you plan you your local schedule, we put together our suggestions of local acts to see on June 20 in the Golden Triangle...

3:40-4:20, Dazzle — Oko Tygra: This will be a nice next step from Plume Varia. In the velvety confines of Dazzle, you can catch the moody dance act Oko Tygra. Thoughtful and patient grooves drive Joshua Novak’s dreamy vocals to cloudy spaces." - Denver Post - Hey Reverb


These Denver-natives bathe sweeping synth melodies in whirring guitar riffs and sonic-boom percussion builds to create something nostalgic and modern. They infuse indie-rock with modern pop elements and will definitely show Sunday’s crowds what they’re made of. - 303 Magazine


Name three local acts that shouldn’t be missed [at UMS 2014]: #1 Excited to see Oko Tygra for the first time. - Dear Denver

"Watch: 11 Artists To See At The 2015 Underground Music Showcase"

The Underground Music Showcase returns for its 15th year in Denver this weekend. With more than 400 acts scheduled to perform Thursday through Sunday along South Broadway, the UMS lineup is rife with remarkable Colorado artists along with national headliners like STRFKR and DIIV. Here's a sampling of just a few of the artists set to play the event and footage of them in the CPR Performance Studio. Check out the videos below and find out when and where they'll play this weekend... The shoegaze-inspired project of Denver musician Joshua Novak performed at last year's CMJ festival in New York City. Catch them at the Main Stage, 99 S Broadway, Sunday at 3:30 p.m. - CPR Open Air

"Here are 15 acts to discover at UMS 2015"

...the beauty of this festival lies in discovery. When assembling our staff picks for the July 23-26 event on South Broadway, we wouldn’t be doing the festival (or you) any justice by suggesting folks you’re already going to see. So, we did our best to find some excellent artists playing the UMS whose names you haven’t yet heard. They range from vintage rock to R&B, hip-hop to bedroom pop. Take a listen, and if you like what you hear, fill up their shows at the UMS. Then everyone will know you liked them first... OKO TYGRA: This Denver band has already played national festivals like South by Southwest and CMJ with a wash of vintage synths and dreamy vocals, hitting the cycle of throwback music that’s hot right now. 3:30 p.m. July 26, Main Stage - Denver Post - Reverb

"How Joshua Novak Fell into OKO TYGRA"

Not unlike the Bible or the only real action in Humpty Dumpty, OKO TYGRA started with a fall. In frontman Joshua Novak’s case, that fall was from the top of a ladder, two stories off the ground.

“They told me that very few people walk out of the ICU from accidents like that. It sounds stupid, but I was like, ‘You know, this a sign that life is short. I have to change something,’” he says.

In the Lifetime movie version of this story, Novak saunters out of the ICU after a touch-and-go recovery and bursts into the nearest pawn shop, where he purchases a gleaming white Fender Stratocaster from the grizzled proprietor. Novak then learns to play and meets his bandmates in a wordless and inspiring montage replete with fist bumps, which inevitably culminates as the words OKO TYGRA — glimmering under the blinking bulbs of the Bluebird’s marquee — flash across the screen. An evil mustachioed manager goes after the band’s profits, leading to tension between bandmembers. A heartfelt makeup scene sees them reaffirm their initial commitment to each other — something in the vein of, “We got into this to make music. We’ve let the bullshit blind us. Let’s make some music.” Cut to the Grammy acceptance speech. Roll credits.

In the this-actually-happened version of this story, Novak already knew how to play guitar and was active within the local music scene by the time he and gravity had their most unfortunate rendezvous. He had been performing under his own name for several years, often completely solo. He booked his first proper gig at the Soiled Dove.

“I totally had long, swoopy indie-rock hair and a bunch of bracelets and a lot of feelings,” he says with a laugh. “Although I do always say in spite of all of that, I was never really an emo kid. I was on the fringes.”

Haircut aside, Novak kept at it. He opened for touring acts at the Larimer Lounge, convinced Ben DeSoto, then a buyer at Twist & Shout, to stock his first record, played all over town, and successfully raised over $7,000 using Kickstarter to fund his second solo record, Ephemeron. By 2013, he felt he was starting to plateau, though he had doubts about changing course and abandoning the project under which he had established himself. At one point, Neil Robertson, a friend and drummer in the scene, approached him and offered to collaborate.

Cut to ladder, ICU, renewed appreciation for life’s inherent brevity.

Newly inspired and reassembled, Novak decided to write a memo outlining exactly what he intended to do next. It took four pages and left no stone unturned.

“I bit the bullet and wrote about what we were going to look like and sound like and the goals we were going to have for ourselves. I took it very seriously,” he says. “Once I gave myself over to the idea, I became completely obsessed with it.”

Goals ranged from finding proper PR and management and releasing a full-length record via a label to playing The Tonight Show and landing on the cover of Rolling Stone.

Novak then enlisted his friends and, essentially, got the band together. The current lineup includes Robertson on drums, bassist Jeremiah Mora and guitarist Noah Simons — all “OG Denver people” by Novak’s metric. Per the memo, their sound echoed ’80s new wave and airy shoegaze — think Cocteau Twins, the Cure, the kind of musical flourishes and production that conjure a Kate Bush type of drama. The singles came slowly, also per the memo, but the momentum built steadily: Their first year, the four played CMJ. South by Southwest and Daytrotter followed. Last summer, they booked Film on the Rocks’ coveted opener spot and played Red Rocks — something Novak readily admits he's "wanted to do forever and ever.”
With all of those accomplishments checked off the list, other goals loomed — namely, releasing a debut full-length record. Novak emailed experimental producer and musician Jorge Elbrecht and asked if he would produce the band’s album.

“I took a total shot in the dark,” says Novak. “He replied within hours and said yes.”

Cut to Assistoma, the band’s brand-new record, caught in a careful space between aimless pleasure and quiet determination, a moody sonic universe with layered, intricate production that feels all-encompassing but never stifling. For the band, it’s an effective survey of the past four years of writing music together.

“We joke sometimes that it’s our debut and our greatest hits at the same time,” says Novak.

With yet another goal on the memo achieved, OKO TYGRA is looking ahead. And Novak is hardly holding back.

“I would like to be sipping champagne out of a Grammy in a year,” Novak jokes. “If I have the opportunity to do that, I’m doing it. It would have to be for ‘Most Popular Band You’ve Never Heard Of,’ 'Best Performance From a Singer You Don’t Know Is a Boy or a Girl.’ I want a fringe category — that way we maintain our street cred.”

Barring Dom Pérignon and Recording Academy accolades, he’ll settle for simpler pleasures of art and friendship.

“I’d like to look back in ten years and still be making music with these guys,” he says. “I’m not somebody who ever takes anything for granted. I’m just always super-grateful. I don’t want to hold on to it too tightly; I just want to be super-grateful that it’s happening.” - Westword


PLASTICINE/GLASS JAW 7” - 2015 (EggHunt Records)

ASSISTOMA - 2019 (Grey Market Records)



After suffering an accident that left him with a life-threatening head injury, Joshua Novak realized something had to change. Having spent years as a solo artist in Denver, this unforeseen moment became the genesis of OKO TYGRA.

“I thought we needed to approach this seriously from the beginning and I didn’t want to make the same mistakes again,” said Novak. “There would be no OKO TYGRA without the collapse of what came before it.”

He went on to explain that the band is deeply inspired by the dreamy new wave and goth acts of the ’80s. “What we do isn’t burlesque. We aren’t a cover band,” he said. “We always say that we’ve picked up where the ’80s left off.”

Within its first year, the band (which includes Neil Robertson, Jeremiah Mora and Noah Simons) played the CMJ festival in New York and released their acclaimed first 7-inch.

OKO TYGRA then continued with memorable performances at SXSW, Red Rocks and Daytrotter.

They opened sold-out shows for bands like Purity Ring, The Fixx and The Horrors. But one of the group’s key moments came when they reached out to noted indie producer, Jorge Elbrecht (Sky Ferreira, Wild Nothing, Tamaryn, Ariel Pink) to record their “Sealegs” 7-inch.

This symbiotic relationship with Elbrecht continues with his production and mixing of the OKO TYGRA debut full-length, Assistoma.

The ten tracks on Assistoma distort Novak’s early lyrical distress and candor resulting in a deeper connection to the parts left unexplained. The sonically dense songs are a study on the almost fetishistic joys of being alone, while being filtered through the blissed-out perspective of a queer protagonist. “I was in a place in life where I felt a bit lost,” he said. “This was amplified by the ending of a toxic romantic situation I was in at the time. I didn’t feel like exploring the typical themes of love and loss. I wanted to see what it meant to be alone. But what I felt didn’t have a name, so I made up ‘assistoma’ to describe it. I think I wanted people to sort of scratch their heads a little. We all know what it’s like to be alone and how it feels to be overjoyed, but I wanted to write something that put those two feelings in the same room together and make it feel like a love song, even though it’s not.”

Despite, or perhaps because of, these feelings of ‘assistoma,’ Novak touches on family as a source of inspiration for the band. “Like a lot of people, we all have complicated relationships with our families, particularly our fathers. In our band there has been death of parents, intense political and religious disagreements, abandonment etc. So, when writing about them, we wanted to focus more on the feeling and not the straight-up biography. We wanted people to wonder, is it about God or fathers? About romantic love or parental love? Is it about silence or integrity?”

OKO TYGRA also delves into bigger themes like faith, war, obsession — creating moods around these ideas that are a bit more surreal or abstract. “We are intrigued about the open-endedness of these bigger questions and wanted to capture a little bit of that by not focusing too intently on the answers, which no one has,” Novak said. “Our music brings these things into focus and puts us in control of the outcome. It’s as if we look forward to the future by acknowledging the past.”

Band Members