Impressive debut album from L.A. based singer-songwriter that promises much.
What is the definition of a ‘misfit coming-of-age’ album? Well, in Olive Klug’s own words, debut album ‘Don’t You Dare Make Me Jaded’ is such a thing. For Klug, that coming-of-age thing was not about leaving school or college and trying to conform to the world as it had been taught. Rather, as a 25-year-old, Klug feels now is their time. Written in the preceding couple of years the album sees Klug coming to terms with and embracing their queer identity.
Musically Klug has presented an album that clearly demonstrates an affinity with the likes of Joni Mitchell and Brandi Carlile. If their influences are evident throughout, a number of tracks bring the name Jewel to mind and her 1997 album ‘Pieces Of You’. This likeness is particularly noticeable on tracks such as ‘Second Opinion’ where Klug works with minimal acoustic accompaniment to great effect.
It needs to be said that Klug’s voice is a consistently wonderous thing throughout and the album’s production wisely puts that vocal front and centre. Opening track ‘Faking It’ and lead single ‘Out Of Line’ sees Klug bring a joyous, almost jaunty air to proceedings with nimble vocals, banjo and piano in support. These tracks are, perhaps. aimed at wider commercial appeal but they are not particularly representative of the album overall. There are any number of other tracks that equally highlight Klug’s talent as a singer-songwriter of worth.
‘Parched’ is a gorgeous love song that sees Klug reflect on pouring energy into a relationship with increasingly diminishing returns leaving them empty, thirsty and needing more; parched. ‘Ghost of Avalon’ begins with an old documentary-type intro that leads into a gentle acoustic-led song about the pain of seeing reminders of failed relationships at every turn and how, as time passes, those reminders are encountered more fondly.
In an album chock-a-block with highpoints a big shout out for ‘Cut The Ties’. Klug imagines packing a bag and hitting the open road; “seeing escapism as a solution to sadness and stagnation.” It is an upbeat belter of a track that fits perfectly into that image.
As a debut album, contemporary folk singer/songwriter Olive Klug has produced something highly accomplished and noteworthy. Klug’s is a voice to reckon with and this is an album that surely foretells a bright future for the L.A. based artist.