Olympia: Flamingo

review olympia x1 cong

There was a moment — track four, Nervous Riders — when we thought we were going to love this album, but sadly it’s a little too patchy.

This is the second album by Australian singer-songwriter Olympia (real name Olivia Bartley, and from Wollongongand) and it’s psychedelic pop with leaning towards to indie.

On the plus side, it’s a crisp and clean sound and she has a good voice. Musically it’s somewhere between Smashing Pumpkins (a fair trek, admittedly, and in ambition more than actual sound) and pop bands such as Ladyhawke.

The opening three tracks are ok. Star City is an echo of early Blondie; Come Back a decent copy of a Ladyhawke tune, with added nice guitar — one of the stronger tracks — while Easy Pleasure could pass as Cerys Matthews. Then comes Nervous Riders, a benchmark she never quite reaches again, opening with a fast heartbeat on synth, before it becomes an enjoyable and emotive pop tune, building in the way a Snow Patrol tune builds.

After that it flags a little, the weakest track being the aptly named Shoot To Forget. There are enough decent songs early on and a couple later (Won’t Say That has a delicate charm) that could see you through the album.

It could be a set that gets to be comforting for its familiarity: we were similarly lukewarm about the new Marina album, but we’ve played it a lot. For fans of Ladyhawke, as well as pop rock bands of an equally predictable nature — Feeder, perhaps.

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