Turn your attention to one of the edgiest original artists in the Portland music scene right now: Feminist, multi-instrumentalist, and all-around amazing human being Olivia Awbrey is working hard on what could be one of the best albums to come through Portland in a long time. After leaving her full-time job as a social worker, she has turned back to music as a way to engage others and empower herself. The healing power of music can be heard in her lyrics, rich with stories from her life and visions for the future.
Olivia’s music has taken her on an incredible journey- starting when she learned to play the piano at just 8 years old. More recently, she’s flown some 4,900 miles away to the bustling music-metropolis of London, England to complete her most recent original works of art. With two decades of songwriting experience, it’s no surprise this upcoming album has gained so much traction on the international scene.
In what will be her fourth experience recording a full-length album, her prior influences of folk, punk, and rock are creating what is sure to be a genre-bending musical phenomenon. Olivia’s goal is “to make a record that combines the rain-soaked psych/folk sounds of the Pacific Northwest with London’s rich underground rock influence.” The album is soaked in themes of science fiction and vigilante-style feminist justice. “This is my most experimental and rawest album yet,” said Olivia during an interview from her London bedroom. “It's a story-driven album set in Portland, and the plot follows two friends who plan a feminist revolution.” The passion in her voice behind the messages Olivia brings forth in all her works are phenomenal- Olivia is the dystopian punk feminist goddess we never knew we needed.
Since her first solo EP in 2017, Olivia’s music has taken off like wildfire. Right now, her Kickstarter page is raising the funds necessary to fund the album. Her hard work promoting has helped it to already reach 75% of its $10,000 goal. You can find more information about the album and Olivia’s journey by watching the brief video on her Kickstarter page. Her powerful message is one that demands to be sung and needs to be heard.
Before she finishes her second album, Olivia is touring the UK for the month of April.
With international touring experience in the US and UK, Olivia continues to wow audiences as she hones her craft tremendously. You can check out the 2019 UK tour dates Olivia’s Facebook page for this rare opportunity to see her band play abroad. (If you’re lucky enough to be in London when she is!)
Olivia has also surrounded herself with an incredible team of musicians for this album. Her crew includes the rock-steady Portland band: Dan Klee, Noah Merrill, Pete Abraham and Margaret Wher contributed to the creative flow of Olivia’s album back home in Portland. Partially recorded at Portland’s own Destination:Universe Studio, she has moved to the London-based OneCat Studios to complete her vision. As the end of the recording work nears, the UK team has been working in overtime. Drawing on the gritty sounds of London’s rock scene, her talented crew of UK-based artists and producers are giving the album the last touches it needs. Studio owner Jon Clayton, Jen Macro, and Chris Thorpe-Tracey provide the finishing touches for her masterpiece. The UK crew is well-versed in the world of London’s eclectic and bustling music industry, a world vastly different from Portland’s small yet tight-knit music scene. Their history of prior collaborators is impressive- full of amazing artists like Ben Folds, Steve Albini, My Bloody Valentine and more.
When she’s not working hard to complete her all-original rock album, she’s doing everything she can to promote her creativity within London’s vast and diverse music scene. With the Kickstarter deadline approaching soon, now is the time to donate to this incredible artist. Be sure to check out the special goodies available for backers of the album Kickstarter- it’s nice to get rewarded sometimes!
Read more about Olivia on her website, in Poptized Magazine, or listen to her #MeToo interview on KBOO. Olivia’s story continues to be an inspiration to feminists everywhere. Watch her story unfold as she completes this album with your help. Be sure to follow her page so you won’t miss the next time she’s playing in your city- her performances are a guaranteed treat that should not be missed!
By: Holly Kevan Brooks
Holly is a Portland-based author and musician, working hard in the scene to promote creativity and comfort for all artists and fans alike. You can follow Holly on Instagram at @janedeauxofficial and at JaneDeaux.com
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