30 Avril 2023
From UNITED STATES •
Wan from winter, ruddy cheeked, and enigmatic, Olive Louise is the embodiment of ‘Don’t gild the Lily’. The wispy haired dirty blonde, with a past full of tragedy and eyes like ice that shimmer the same way her coppery strands do, is completely herself and has the uncontrived ability to make you feel like you are understood when listening to her music.
With a past like hers, one might expect her to be less of an open book after losing both her parents before the age of 15. Instead, she is completely candid about her trauma and her loss. When asked if it is hard for her to talk about,
“What's harder for me is how unexpectedly it can hit me even years later. I watched an old video of my mom playing the piano the other day and I wished that she could play the piano again. She was so jipped and so young. I was suddenly inconsolable. I hadn’t ever thought about it that way. The loss really feels like a wound that is always there and sometimes I might accidentally bash against a corner and open it up again, but never the same way and I can’t ever know when or exactly what will do it.”
I learn that while we’re having this conversation Olive is germinating strawberry and basil seeds for her garden in the summer. Olive is a breath of fresh air and speaks to you like you’ve known each other your entire lives. The “au naturel'' look she has, usually sporting a bare face and crisp pair of pearl earrings, translates into her music, which feels billowy and nostalgic and is reminiscent of her songbird sister Florence Welch and London Grammar, who Olive has often been compared to.
Olive’s vocals feel soft and like they’ve been plucked directly from her diary entry. Her writing style is vivid and often metaphorical. In "Moroccan Oranges", she chants, “Your voice like a theremin, I heard it giving in”.. to describe her fathers voice when trying not to cry while on vacation for the first time after his wife’s, Olive’s mother's passing. To anyone who is unfamiliar, as I was, a Theremin is an instrument that gives off a deep warbling vibrato. Olive’s newest music offers an earnest perspective of the stages of grief, something she knows all too well.
"Garden" is a letter to her parents, a wish, that they are both together and that they will one day all be together again. It is hopeful and poignant. "Moroccan Oranges" is about the shock and emptiness that she felt after losing her mother, and "The Cure" is an ethereal masterpiece that transports you to the actual Main House of The Great Gatsby estate where she was raised and into the dilapidated remnants of what could have been and what was.
Olive’s music is haunting and heroic. Olive Louise is for the time traveler, the wanderer and those hungry for real storytelling and adventure.