Olivia Awbrey is a talented artist with a fondness for energetic DOOM grooves and touching GLOOM melodies. Her most recent single, “Don’t Be Alarmed” is a stunning example of her growth as an artist as well as her unique vision as a singer and songwriter.
From catchy hooks to searing social commentary, Olivia set out to use this track as a vehicle for her outspoken blend of songwriting. “Don’t Be Alarmed” combines the edgy angular textures of psych-punk, with the intimacy of folk music.
Hailing from Portland, the artist set out to touch on the increasing gentrification of her city, as well as reflecting on the tough political climate… and actual climate change itself, among other issues and topics.
The song begins with a raunchy guitar feedback, which reminds us of artists such as Yuck or Dinosaur Jr.
The track cleans up really well, highlighting Olivia’s stunning melodies and direct lyrics, almost reminding us of artists as diverse as Frank Turner or Cory Brannan. While the first verse is a little emptier, allowing the vocals to take the main place under the spotlight, the second verse is more nuanced, with cool guitar lines accompanying the vocals. The choruses are deeper and textural, with really unique melodies and catchy hooks that are easy to sing-along to.
It’s actually not an easy task to create music that blurs the lines between thoughtful lyrics and appealing melodies. In this case, the witty and reflective nature of the lyrics work really well with the song’s positive and uplifting vibes, presenting very important issues in a very palatable way to the audience.
Featured on the track are Pete Abraham on electric guitar, Noah Merrill on bass, and Carl LaRuhe on drums. Written and produced by Awbrey, she took the lead on rhythm guitar, vocals and synth. It was recorded in Portland at The Rye Room with Matt Greco, and mixed and mastered by Jon Clayton at OneCat Studio in London.
Olivia Awbrey is certainly one of the most interesting new songwriters coming out of Portland, and her diverse approach to music is brave and unapologetic. Her willingness to give full range to her creativity has certainly been rewarded, as her music is gaining a lot of exposure and attention for all the right reasons.