Release Date: June 11th 2021
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Do You Miss Me
- love u again (feat. R3HAB)
- Bad Girlfriend
- love on you.
Sometimes an artist just hits you out of nowhere, with a discography so catchy, energetic, infectious and potent that you can’t help but be proud and inspired. I guess that’s the best type of ‘new’ artist there is- when you immediately find a singer and a performer and an entertainer that entertains, but speaks to your soul as well- one that provides joy, hope, inspiration, comfort and food for thought. And as I was perusing through Youtube the other month, one such artist jumped out at me. A young star who has had her start in Disney (like other well-known stars like Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, and now defuct sibling pop group Everlife); Olivia Holt has recorded plenty of songs and given us many inspiring hits (view her discography on Apple Music here!). However it was only since the start of this year that I have had the pleasure of being introduced to Olivia’s music- and boy is it super fun and extremely boppy. Similar in style to Sabrina Carpenter and Hailee Steinfeld; we are met with a young artist who is extremely confident in her craft, as she shows us that there is no limit on how young you are when you start chasing your dreams.
When I first started working on this music, I was entering my 20s and had gotten to the point where I felt completely confident in speaking my mind. For a long time, I’d felt closed off, which is something that can happen when you’re in relationships or friendships that keep you from your full potential. It’s like I was in this bubble I couldn’t pop—and then finally I popped it, and it was so liberating. I’ve found this incredible freedom to say and do what I want, and no one can hold me back.
Sometimes it’s scary to get that vulnerable, but I feel like it’s taken my creativity to a whole new place, and I’m so excited to keep exploring that more. My main intention was to make this album feel fun and resilient and bad-ass, in a way that I never really had with my music before,” she says. “I hope that everyone feels that when they hear these songs, and I hope it’s just as liberating for them as it was for me to create them.
With Olivia having starred in two hit series already (Marvel’s Cloak And Dagger and Cruel Summer) even before she has released, a full length studio album; Olivia has also released an EP in 2016, as well as tons of powerful and poignant singles since then, not to mention collaborations with plenty of world renowned DJ’s and producers. And now, let me just say that Olivia’s latest material is a blast and a ball of fun- and if her presumed 2021 debut full length album is anything to go by, then Olivia Holt will go extremely far. But before we speak about presumed albums and rumours, let’s dive into Olivia’s latest EP In My Feelings, shall we?
Opening with the laid back and breezy piano led ballad “Do You Miss Me”, Olivia dives deep into a broken relationship and one persona asking the other if he misses her, considering he’s seemingly moved on already. It’s a heartbreaking song about one person not being able to move on and about being stuck in life; and reminds us all that we all need to sometimes let go of the idealised version of something before we can live true to ourselves and be fully free. “Today”, a cover of the iconic Smashing Pumpkins song (yes I had to look it up!), follows, and the 90’s track fits well with the vibe of the 90’s themed show Cruel Summer, of which the song was covered specifically for the show. Lyrically, the track is about suicide (again, I had to look up the meaning of the track), and as I haven’t seen Cruel Summer yet, I can’t say for sure how the song’s meaning fits into the show. Yet on its own, the track is thought-provoking, asking us about what we feel should be part of our greatest day, and asking us what are we living for essentially.
“love u again”, with R3HAB, is a EDM tune that is extremely danceable, yet a deeper look at the lyrics reveals a tortured soul who tells their ex that they ‘…don’t wanna see nobody touch you, and know you’re happy again, ayy, because a part of me wants to believe, that if you’re coming, you’re coming for me, won’t let nobody love you if I can’t love you again…’, as we are presented with a warning of sorts- a pleading to let go of past relationships because it will consumer every part of us… and then who are we as a person? The one who is vengeful and is always holding onto grudges? “Bad Girlfriend”, an EDM track that essentially speaks about the persona’s inability to love, but her willingness to change her ways for her current beau, reminds us that we all need to compromise and we all need to change a bit for the important people in our lives; while In My Feelings ends with “love on you.”. Slightly more vulnerable and emotional, the song is an electronic/pop song that delves into the ins and outs of breakups, and the healing that can come from ridding yourself of negative people in your life. Oliva eloquently relays that she has wasted her love on her ex, but then declares that she wouldn’t change it; and this reminds me of the fact that any situation, whether good or bad, can be used by God for His glory and our good. Why would we erase the bad moments when it grows our character? Something to ponder about as we analyse a pop song that perhaps doesn’t need to be analysed this much!
Olivia Holt’s music is predominately about relationships and the feelings of happiness, frustration, joy and sadness that go along with them. But for us single people, inclusive of myself, let’s not let subject matter that we can’t fully relate to yet, ruin our enjoyment of these songs. Because Olivia is indeed a star in the making- and as we are immersed in these songs that speak to us about the human condition, and wanting to be the best that there is, especially in the romance department; let us remember that being human means feeling the hurt along with the joy, the disappointment and sadness along with the happiness. And once we accept this, we can indeed love again, we can be talked out of playing it safe in life, and we can be able to miss someone yet still be ready to move on. And with Olivia slated for a debut album this year; why don’t we all hold our breath with anticipation, and marvel and how talented this young woman is- in acting and in singing? Well done Olivia for these poignant songs, I can’t wait to hear what’s next in store for you in 2021!
3 songs to listen to: Do You Miss Me, love u again, love on you.
RIYL: Everlife, Sofia Carson, Hilary Duff, Lindsay Lohan, Sabrina Carpenter, Dua Lipa, Little Mix