Olympia - 'Flamingo'

6/10

Following on from the success of her debut album 'Self Talk' in 2016, which garnered multiple new music awards nominations in her home country of Australia, singer and songwriter Olympia aka Olivia Bartley clearly had a mountain to climb for her next new release. With so much praise landing on her for her first LP, including nominations for an ARIA award, J Award for Best Video, shortlisted in the Australian Music Prize and selected as a Triple J feature album, she was obviously never going to rush her follow-up. So after three years of consistent touring and writing, she is back with her eagerly-awaited sophomore full-length 'Flamingo', a record that looks to pick up where she left off.

Based on a personal tragedy she experienced in which she loved and then lost someone close to her, the album aims to place the feelings of grief and desire on parallel lines, and it is this juxtaposition that gives the release its rather interesting tones. While the production of 'Flamingo' is filled with bold and euphoric sounds, there is a distinct sadness in the voice of Olympia, showing that while she is looking for a boost of energy and upbeat emotions, she is consistently being pulled back by her broken heart, delivering a raw and intense musical journey that feels ever more personal as it plays.

It certainly has its moments of joyous rapture that manage to sit well with her more sombre aesthetic, but overall, the LP doesn't quite hit as many marks as its predecessor. Fans of her first release will no doubt find plenty to enjoy on here, but 'Flamingo' just needs that extra level of lift to really bring it out of the humdrum and into something truly special.

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