Artist Mixtapes - Olivia Dean
Since her 2019 ‘Ok Love You Bye’ release - showcasing her husky and sympathetic voice that caresses the vulnerable side of your thoughts - Olivia Dean has managed to grab her listeners by the heart and take them on an adventure with her candid lyrics and relatable experiences. Her nostalgic, Lily Allen-esk vibes are something we never knew we were missing, and act as the perfect accompaniment to new beginnings for the 2020 lifestyle.
As a young woman from Walmthomstow, living through the ups and the downs of a Londoner well amongst the millennial generation, her words act as a source of comfort for the perhaps irrational yet very real thoughts and feelings of a young person in the 2000’s. Singing about her journey navigating through ex-boyfriends, the 2018 Football World Cup and modern-day technology revolving relationships, her lyrics are refreshing and welcomed by many going through the same ‘f*ckboy’ era moments.
As she exposes you to her previous experiences which are ultimately the crux of her music, her approach to the neo-soul and jazz sound perfectly complements the lyrics as the two come together to make those down days manageable, sprinkling a little optimism through the weight of the acoustic instruments and body tingling harmonies. Each candid verse met with memorable choruses, acts as a holistic healing circle of raw emotions and humbling remedies.
The solidarity she brings through her music is what makes her so accessible and addictive, and something we are all in need of a little right now. So as we enter yet another summer in the UK, this time things a little different than before, Dean’s music is a must listen to remedy those feelings of past lovers, mistakes and experiences, so we can break out of isolation having reflected and learned from the past. There’s no other soundtrack we’d rather do that with.
My playlist is just a big ol mix of new and old stuff I’m loving at the moment, featuring “CSide” from the new Khrubangin X Leon Bridges project (definitely check out the whole EP) , a couple tracks from Aretha Franklin & Amy Winehouse who are big inspirations for me & some newer stuff from Little Simz and King Krule. Also I’m obsessed with big horn lines at the moment so I am really into the Menahan Street Band tune on there and this 1970’s Zimbabwean song Kare Nanhasi I found the other day. - Olivia Dean