Photo Credit: Josh Campbell
I love music that keeps you on your toes. Music that makes you think of some comparisons but, when push comes to shove, you don’t want to make those comparisons because you feel like it’s just not the right fit. This is what happened to first time I listened to Olive Reid’s new EP, ‘TO BE NAMED BY THE PEOPLE’. There was something familiar and almost nostalgic about all of the tracks on this release yet every time I would reach for a name to compare it to, it just didn’t settle right with me.
Long story short, this album deserves to be heard instead of compared to other acts. It’s gorgeous and dazzling much like Olivia Reid. Don’t believe me? After checking out this amazing work of art, spend some time reading this super fun interview I got to do with the beautiful songstress.
Have you ever been able to finish a Rubik’s Cube?
Everyone says that every crowd is their favorite but what city has the best audience and why is it
Minneapolis is a beautiful city with beautiful people!! Especially the abundance of Vikings fans (my Grampa’s favorite team). But I’d have to stay true to my New York fans and friends… they have amazing energy at live shows.
What’s your go-to coffee order?
Iced dirty chai with oat milk. I think it’s funny that it’s called a dirty chai, so I really have to hype myself up to use the word “dirty” at 7 am.
If you could compare yourself to a bird, what bird would it be and why?
I love those sanderling birds you see by the ocean. They just run up and down the beach, chasing the waves all day. They’re more mellow than I am though, so I guess I aspire to be more like them.
Favorite lyrics of all time?
“In a Week” by Hozier comes to mind, “We lay here for years or for hours; Your hand in my hand, So still and
discreet; So long we become the flowers.” Two lovers laying together so long they decompose? What’s more poetic than that.
If you could have dinner with any musician, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Probably Bob Marley. Just have so many questions for him, what a unique role he played in music, in human rights, in politics.
What’s your favorite menu item at Taco Bell?
I wish I could eat at Taco Bell! My stomach made me abandon fast food a long time ago, but when I was a kid, it was those crunch wrap supremes for sure.
If you were to rob a bank, what would be the song playing in the getaway car as you escape?
“Gold on the Ceiling” by The Black Keys on full volume.
What’s an old-school fad that you wish would come back?
I love disco pants. They are back in certain ways but late 70’s style jeans are amazing.
What’s the worst concert you’ve ever been to and why?
Hm, I won’t say who it was because as artists we have to support other artists. But I went to this one show, and this guy played for 3 hours straight on just a guitar, messing up left and right, and then would talk for 10 minutes between each song to humble brag about how successful he was. I took a mental note to never make people in a standing- room-only venue listen to you for more than an hour, unless of course you’re Taylor Swift or Beyonce.
What’s your favorite method of listening to music?
I love vinyl! I used to collect more old records, buying new records got pretty pricey. I should get back into it though!
What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?
I saw Gregory Alan Isokov in a beautiful church in Berlin. I went by myself and sat in the front row. The acoustics were incredible, and those songs echoed perfectly in the space.
What’s one thing I should know before listening to “TO BE NAMED BY THE PEOPLE”?
It’s not a project of love songs, or break-up songs, or party songs. There’s no right or wrong time, location, or season of life you need to listen to them in, but I suppose the lyrics speak clearest when listened to intentionally.
That’s such an interesting and intriguing title for an album. It really caught me if I’m being quite honest– how did you come up with it?
It was actually the placeholder title I labeled the SoundCloud link of the early project demos. I wanted to run a vote and ask other people to name the project once the first singles were released. Funny enough – when I ran the vote on Reddit, Instagram, etc. people voted to keep the name “TO BE NAMED BY THE PEOPLE”. So, it’s only fitting that the vote solidified the title, and people get to decide what the project means to them rather than be told.
Out of the tracks on this EP, what one came first?
I wrote “Nightmare Machine” back in 2017. It first started as a very stripped down, very folk / train-song inspired. It’s really evolved overtime and the original production I did has a whole new life after co-producing this version with So Wylie.
The vibes throughout this track are a bit all over the place. I absolutely get the indie-pop vibe but I also get everything from dance to rock. What band/ musician was your biggest influence when writing these songs?
Oh I 100% agree. I have a really hard time with genre labels! The reason why this project is so varied is likely because I didn’t just have one inspiration. But someone described to me as “Gen-Z’s Florence and the Machine” and I loved that reference. I do think Florence’s influence is prominent in a lot of my music.
Were you in a particular place when writing?
I wrote the lyrics to the songs alone in my room. I wish that was more of a story, but oftentimes writing late at night, in a dark room, with headphones on – allows me to go to another space emotionally.
I know that all music is open for interpretation but what do you hope the biggest take away for people is when it comes to “TO BE NAMED BY THE PEOPLE”??
Not all of our experiences as people are purely one note or one emotion. We can be proud and exhausted at the same time, we can be grieving and joyful at the same time, we can be healing and falling apart at the same time. That duality is hard to grapple with, but it’s also what makes life so interesting.
What’s next for Olivia Reid? This album came out on September 15th but now what?
Yes, the project is out everywhere! To tell you the truth, I’m always rushing myself to ask, “what’s next” and trying to do one thing right after another. This time, I’m leaving that a mystery, to be able to find it along the way. I’ve got a lot of new music in the works, so stay tuned!
I instantly felt like I was a close, personal friend of Oliva’s as I worked through her answers on all of these quirky questions. Like her music, there was something warm and comforting about each answer while also being honest and raw. Make sure to show Olivia some love on her socials so you don’t miss what comes next for this sure-to-be breakout star!
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