Released: 30th June 2023
Olivia Dean’s stunning debut album is a triumph of discovering your artistry, embracing your imperfections and letting your voice flourish in all its exuberant and heartbreaking glory. ‘Messy’ is an exploration of the psyche of an artist who has taken their time to really develop their craft both as a songwriter and a performer, and throughout, you can hear the dynamism and deft subtleties that make Olivia’s work so engaging and emotionally resonant.
As the title suggests, it flits from mood to mood, with the connecting tissue being Olivia’s crystal clear and beautiful soulful voice. It’s a record that deals exclusively in the most vital human emotions, from the ebullient joy and endless possibilities of new love on the ecstatic pop gem ‘Dive’ or the equally important need for friends and looking out for each other on ‘Ladies Room’, those two are the standout pop bops, but as things get that little bit darker and more mysterious, that’s where things get really special. All of Olivia’s idiosyncrasies and gift for evocative storytelling come to the fore on whimsical, playful fantasies like ‘I Could Be A Florist’, and she even goes super deep on the Radiohead-like ‘Everybody’s Crazy’.
The album ends with her gorgeous and wistful ode to her grandmother and her heritage on ‘Carmen’. Twelve tracks that encapsulate a hugely impressive range and breadth from an artist only just beginning to scratch the surface of their potential. One of our most exciting new pop voices, Olivia Dean’s legacy is just beginning.