You probably think that you don’t know this American singer-songwriter if this is the case let me remind you of the top 10 hit “i hate u, i love u“, which ruled the charts and radios in 2016. Olivia collaborated with the rapper Gnash for this track. And now, if you think that this was just another One-hit wonder, then you’re wrong. Because Olivia released further singles and an EP last year after her breakthrough. I admit that I also thought this about her, but then one day YouTube recommended me her music video for the song “Empty”. After watching the video of her most emotional song, I realized that she was the same girl from “i hate u, i love u“. Then I became obsessed with her and her songs. “Empty” became my song, which I listened during my sad moods, afterward “RIP” was released and I also loved this one. On November 17, 2017, she released her first EP called “It’s Not That Deep”, which included her two former singles and a new one “No Love”. It was like an early Christmas gift. I love all the songs and their messages, therefore I wanted to write a review on it and introduce her to you. So, let’s see what “It’s Not That Deep” is about.
In “Tequilawine” Olivia sees an attractive boy on a home party, who could be her ex-boyfriend. However, she wants to get drunk by drinking her wine mixed with tequila. With the aim not being able to see him anymore, she only wants to see blurry visions. What a crazy idea, would you do the same? I like the beat and her soft vocals on this song. A suitable opening to her EP.
Olivia wrote a hate song for her feelings, which she feels for attractive boys. She complains that such feelings ruined her life and made waste her time. She just doesn’t want to feel that way, but who can control his feelings, they just happen. Everyone’s heart beats faster and we get wild thoughts when we see an appealing sexy person. Olivia probably made bad experiences, therefore she doesn’t want to feel attracted to a cute boy anymore. I like how she changes her vocals during the different parts of the song.
“Empty” is a really depressive song. Olivia managed very well to describe how a person feels and thinks during a depressive episode. She thematizes suicidal thoughts and broaches the issue of having too much pressure, being stressed out, and having self-doubt. The lyrics are actually based on personal experience. Olivia wrote this song when she moved new to L.A. and struggled to get used to this new place and to her new life. She purely shows how sad and vulnerable she was and can get in this song. I really appreciate this action. I wished every singer-songwriter would show us more their vulnerable sides and not only their strong stage presence. Even though the lyrics are very deep this song is not like a common ballad, it has an average slow beat. But you still can be moved to tears and feel the emotions. One of my favorite songs of all time.
Another song in which Olivia is complaining, this time about finding real love in L.A. and about how the boys act there. She claims that the hottest boys are selfish and fake. I totally believe in her, since she is not the only young singer-songwriter, who writes about the fake relations in this city. She sings in the chorus “Love ain’t a thing in L.A. Ain’t no love in L.A. But nothin’ is real anyway”. Her vocals are paramount with a gentle piano in the background. I again love the message of this song. I used to admire Los Angeles but after hearing so many bad experiences, mostly according to making real friends and relationships, I’m not that curious anymore about this city. But I admit that people are the same everywhere, I study in a big city in Switzerland and I also question how real the people I met are.
In “RIP” the content continues about the fakeness of L.A. Now, Oliva sings about the story how her best male friend makes other friends and changes as a person and towards her. He doesn’t talk to her anymore and they lose contact. This situation makes Olivia very sad and upset. To accept this event, she thinks of him as if the old him were dead. “RIP to the old you. I fucking miss you. I would have never let you down like you did to me. Now you’re dead to me “. I like the beat and her vocals on this final track.
In this five self-written songs Olivia sings about her experiences she made in Los Angeles as a new young inhabitant. Mostly about fake people and fake relations. Olivia is 18-years-old, and she is working on her musical career. She dropped out of high school to focus on music, I hope she won’t regret this decision one day. However, in my eyes, she is very talented according to writing songs and singing. She has a unique style, she isn’t imitating someone else. Unfortunately, I also think that she and her music are quite underrated, she deserves more international attention. This is also one of the reasons why I write this review. I can imagine that she has a lot of pressure. Being famous at a young age and dealing with the haters and with the music industry is definitely not easy. She also has a lot of competition, since she is not the only female singer, who tries to find her place in this field. As Heidi Klum always says in her TV show “Project Runway”: “One day you’re in, one day you’re out”. In the lyrics of these five songs she can seem like a drama queen to you, maybe she is, but I love the way she writes her lyrics. Particularly very personal, emotional, and truthful.
Before finishing this review, I want to interpret the title of this EP, which is “It’s Not That Deep”. As you can see on the cover there is a blonde girl on the water of the swimming pool. I guess that the blond girl is Olivia O’Brien and the pool is a metaphor for L.A., meaning the lifestyle and the music industry in Los Angeles. There is also a warning message “No Diving” on a sign. Therefore, Olivia did the mistake, she ignored the sign and dived in. First, she thinks that she will drown, but then she realizes that the pool is actually not that deep. So, she survives, meaning that she is able to survive in L.A.
I can’t wait for her debut album, I hope she will release it this year. Till then, let’s enjoy this incredible EP. Also, check out her newest release, a collaboration with Jack & Jack, which is an acoustic version of the song “Beg”. I will also share some links to her music videos down below, check them out if you’re interested. Thanks. Eren