Portland’s folk punk, psych-rock artist Olivia Awbrey premieres her new single on Blogcritics. Slated for official release on June 19, “Don’t Be Alarmed” provides a foretaste of Awbrey’s sophomore album, dropping in 2019.
Musicians appearing on the track include Awbrey (guitar, synth, vocals), Pete Abraham (guitar), Noah Merrill (bass), and Carl LaRuhe (drums). Recorded at Portland’s The Rye Room with producer Matt Greco, the song was mixed and mastered by Jon Clayton at London’s OneCat Studio.
Prior to going solo, Awbrey played guitar in Small Joys, a folk rock band in Eugene, Oregon. In 2015, Awbrey kicked off her solo career, touring the U.S. She dropped her debut EP, Fight or Flight, in 2017.
“Don’t Be Alarmed” opens with a grating, snarling dirty guitar flowing into an ebullient, thrumming psych-rock tune. There’s a punk edge to the guitars – muscular and tumescent with surging energy. A potent rhythmic pulse propels the music forward with irresistible force. The music descends prior to the solo, vibrating with low-level impetus and then erupts into a maelstrom of searing psychedelic guitars.
Awbrey’s voice is scrumptiously stylish. It’s one of those superb voices that’s simultaneously rich, flamboyant, and oh so tantalizing, pregnant with clear, clean tones of lethal lustrous texture. Glossy vocal harmonies infuse the tune with saturating hues of color.
Polished, persuasive lyrics imbue the song with a sense of imminent, urgent vulnerability.
“From the small of your back in the morning / To the melting ice-shelves up north / Every moment is like a warning / That you don’t hear anymore / And the TV’s shouting all angry / Convinced us to stay in bed again / Convinced us the world’s still turning / At least for those who they let in / Don’t be alarmed by anything at all / You’re doing right by acting helpless / Do not question how this all works out / The human race was made to burn like a beacon / Then sell itself out.”
“Don’t Be Alarmed” is superb. The infectious energy of the tune drenches you in buff sonic colors, leaving you soaked to the skin. Olivia Awbrey definitely has oodles of talent. Be alarmed if you miss “Don’t Be Alarmed.”
For all music and show updates, visit olivia-awbrey.com.