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‘Flamingo’ is a glorious collection of 11 tracks, resonating with complex pop unspooling, vast lyrical scope and the confident animation of a world lit with familiar dreams and desires. A striking follow up to the debut ‘Self Talk’, an album that was nominated for an ARIA award, J Award for Best Video, shortlisted in the Australian Music Prize and selected as triple j feature album.
Olivia Bartley, creative force behind the project, co-produced the upcoming album with long-time collaborator Burke Reid (Courtney Barnett, DMAs).
“The record explores how grief and desire are intertwined. It’s referencing a personal tragedy – the addiction and loss of someone very close to me,” says Bartley. “But it’s not a project of catharsis – I chose to submit myself to this experience because I wanted to create from inside it, rather than explaining it. I’ve tried to borrow from my own grief to create its inverse: something joyous. Something beyond myself, something fantastic -something new”.
“It’s the most personal I’ve ever been, but also the most confident. This album is a force.”
Taking the stage as a curtain raiser for ‘Flamingo’ is brand new track ‘Hounds’, a shimmering, kaleidoscopic requiem about calling someone out on their bullshit, or rather, what it means to be human; to feel and to evolve. This song is pure emotional force. A compelling journey from the first beat which drives to ever-escalating releases within the song. Lyrics are immediate, addressing someone driven by dissatisfaction, chasing something they can’t name even to themselves: ’Your reinventions endless, I’ll keep belief suspended’; trying out multiple versions of themselves as though magic tricks: ‘Walking on water, cut in half’; and someone who falls for everything, they could even ‘drown in the sun’.
The listener is rewarded at each lift within the song, as Bartley demonstrates masterful pop sensibility. Sonically we hear a deft balancing act between moments that touch on nostalgia, even facetious sonic hints at religiosity, with elements that are startlingly unique and their own.
1. Star City
2. Come Back
3. Easy Pleasure
4. Nervous Riders
6. Won’t Say That
7. Two Hands
8. Shoot To Forget
9. First You Leave
11. Wrong Number