Olivar is a two-piece group based out of Nashville, TN, consisting of members Cole Maness and Parker Deal that has just released a very authentic and straightforward EP titled it’s ok to be honest. Although the music seems to me to be quite confessional at times, it is obvious from the start that Maness and Deal are having a lot of fun, delicately jamming out their emotions.
Right off the bat, I couldn’t help but notice how similar Maness’ voice sounds to Death Cab for Cutie’s frontman, Ben Gibbard. Not only that, but the vocal delivery and phrasing was similar as well. That specific style of delivery lends itself well to music that calmly and emotionally builds, and along with this, I enjoyed the consistent crescendo-ing style of the music, and I found it interesting how that technique was used in varying degrees. For example, “86” is predominantly acoustic, yet builds to a steady climax, repeating its sole phrase throughout the entirety of the tune. The opening track “Daybreak” builds more traditionally in a jam-esque style, and feels very natural.
I think the band does a very good job in creating music that accurately reflects its lyrics and vice versa. For example, in “Blood Moon,” as the vocals wail out “and I wait for you to come down,” the guitar line steadily walks down the scale. “embers” does this as well, supplying its listeners with a warm, melodic guitar line, singing about embers and fire. I also really appreciate how much imagery the lyrics supplied, demonstrated in songs such as “blood moon” and “daybreak.” When listening, one can tell the music is well thought-out, and with this, is very cohesive. The flow throughout the EP is very solid, both thematically and instrumentally.
For a debut release, I would say this is a very solid EP. It did its job in the sense that it gave the listeners a taste of what these two guys can do and the path they’re set off on. However, I can confidently say that more releases will only help the band, as I feel like the EP just scratches the surface of what is to come. The cohesiveness and flow of this EP tells me that songwriting is very natural for these two, and I’m looking forward to hearing the second release from this duo.
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