Spanning genre and topic, singer-songwriter Oliana creates a sense of effervescence on her debut EP Time, out June 23. Bubbling with raw emotions and candid states of mind, Oliana alongside her producer-partner Tooti, taps into wide-spanning musical influences and artistry on this 7-track record. “The project is a self-realization that covers different themes such as time, change, societal values, love and insecurities,” they explain.
Written over the last two years in what could be defined as the “COVID generation,” the two collaborators, who are involved in a long-distance relationship, processed the world together through Time and were able to evoke the feelings many of us shared. Whether it was navigating love, heartbreak, societal struggles or the altered perception of time during quarantine, the EP effortlessly moves through an array of atmospheres, invoking a sense of deep introspection.
From “Time,” the album’s experimental house opener, to the soulful “Waves” and then “Jupiter,” an indie-folk dazzler, Time displays a wide range of the pair’s capabilities. The other songs on the record include “Crave,” “ilovu,” “no words to say” and “nave,” which Oliana explains are “composed of the trap beats that are surely influenced by the Toronto music scene.” That sound is no doubt dark and ethereal, as Oliana’s vocals dance celestially atop Tooti’s production stylings.
In conjunction with the production are Oliana’s poignant and keenly self-aware lyrics. Sharing her innermost thoughts, Oliana describes the complex relatability of societal anxiety when she sings “looking for a purpose, you’re just another one of us,” or detailing the pain and pleasure of love, admitting that her “Vision gets blurry when I’m lashing out but I never doubted you even out of spite.”
Nevertheless, it’s “Jupiter” and “no words to say” which truly capture the depth of Oliana’s songwriting prowess. On “Jupiter,” a love song about her and Tooti’s distance, she sings with hushed romantic woe, “Jupiter don’t shine as far from here as it does from your window across the sea,” while on “no words to say,” a tragic song about grappling with her parents’ divorce, she shares “Who’s the one who paralyzed me making me doubt myself? Making me feel the loss, making me see the truth.”
Oliana visually depicts the intricacy of Time through three very different music videos. “Jupiter” shares the process of creating the song while “Crave,” the most cinematic of the three, depicts a dramatic and traumatic plot and “Time,” shot with a vintage intent reminiscent of the 80s, uses a double exposure effect to represent the passage of time. The project, created entirely by the duo from writing, to mixing and mastering, is a stunning debut and an exciting precursor for what Oliana might share next.