Olivia Bartley, aka Olympia, and Burke Reid simply sink into each other like feet in wet sand on Flamingo, the follow-up album from 2016 debut Self Talk for the Melbourne pop-rock goddess.
No fluff and no masks, Bartley emotionally surrenders to Flamingo with unfiltered songwriting centred around the overwhelming responsibilities and expectations attached to love. She delivers this through her layers of milky, sultry vocal lines, aching pounds of drums and bass heartbeats on the stripped back pieces, ‘First You Leave’, ‘Nervous Riders’ and title track ‘Flamingo’.
Her signature driving guitar – parallel to the early 2000’s New York rock stylings of Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’s, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and French Kicks – is not absent though and is particularly notable on opener, ‘Star City’, ‘Come Back’ and ‘Two Hands’.
‘Hounds’ is a standout piece on the album, encompassing the colour and vibrancy of the album title with its continual build of energy to the blissful bridge of haunting falsetto and drop a powerhouse finish.
Olympia weaves in and out of lively explosions of sound and naked showcases of vocals on Flamingo, making it an attractively captivating album from start to finish.
EMI Music Australia
Reviewed by Tammy Walters