Olivia Reid explores life’s mystical dualities on her glowing second EP TO BE NAMED BY THE PEOPLE. Across six sprawling tracks, she weaves her lambent vocals through breathtaking soundscapes defined by their organic melding of electronic textures and ethereal instrumentation. Confronting with touching lucidity and ecstatic grace all the contradictory emotions that so often coexist within us and life.
The new EP sees Reid traversing the anthemic highs and pensive lows of indie-pop. Its opening track “Runner’s High” is an effervescent sprint between dogged existential exhaustion and earnest adrenaline. One that’s propelled by both her lambent vocals and it’s soulfully glistening melody — complete with a stirring saxophone outro that dreamily seeps into the collection’s more somber singles.
The gentle and jazz-flecked “Wounds (Healing)” looks inward to find pain entwined with healing, trading lush melodics for some more of that soul-riveting saxophone. Then there’s the grief-stricken “Central Park West” — a heartfelt ballad that twinkles tenderly as Reid wrestles with the fierce bittersweetness that comes with keeping alive the memory of those we’ve lost.
TO BE NAMED BY THE PEOPLE ends with two new songs that find Reid reckoning with questions of madness and happiness. The heavy layers of sound that settle like a melancholic dusk over “Madness (Act I)” conjure images of herself wandering alone in the woods, the jingle of her bear-deterrent bell heard just below the song’s haunting atmospherics.
But in “Madness (Act II + III)” she’s transported to the elusive cityscape she’s tried so hard to get back to in the belief it would rectify her loneliness. Yet as the harshly clamoring synths and industrial electronics that explode around her indicate — she’s simply traded one maddening form of solitude for another.
Words: Steven Ward
Listen to TO BE NAMED BY THE PEOPLE the new EP from Olivia Reid below!