Ollie is a tortured soul. Ollie was involved in more than one accident in his life but it is a car accident that he attributes much of his current state of mind and creative force to. However, there is enough lyrical evidence to leave me thinking there was a relationship wreck that also left him in emotional pain equal to, if not greater, than the scars, both physical and emotional, caused by the car accident. Ollie is also dropping a new album on April 17th via BMG Records.
This album, “maybe this was supposed to happen”, takes us on a journey through pain, despair, depression and ultimately to happier days. Here is a breakdown of a few of the tracks as experienced through my ears.
Track one tells us through dispatch voices that there was a car accident and it opens the album with dark and brooding tones.
In track two Ollie tells us that “life can hurt, life is pain, then get on your feet again”, which has some optimism amidst the pain and then he makes a confession to us, “I’m so afraid of going through change, does anybody feel the same?” It takes courage to admit our fears to others and to then reach out and ask if anyone else feels the same way that we do.
Track three sinks down the self-loathing well with Ollie confessing that “nothing’s ever good enough” and then he strikes upon some lyrics that speak to the world that we find ourselves in during the Covid-19 pandemic, “What’s another day I spend inside, Like everything I do is a waste of time.” Another day spent inside could easily be relevant to the millions of us experiencing lockdown in our homes, not just a day but rather weeks that could stretch to months and that could lead to the lyrics referring to another day spent inside our heads which can be equally scary.
I like this quote that I learned from addiction counselling: “your mind is like an unsafe neighbourhood; don’t go there alone.”― Augusten Burroughs
Ollie continues with the self-loathing, the feeling that he can’t do anything good enough and the feeling that everything he does is a waste of time.
Track five really hits home for me, I get the feeling that Ollie is talking about someone close who is experiencing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, check out these lyrics and see what you think.
“When you no longer speak or know who I am
Tell you I love you when I know you can’t
Push off emotions, I’ll be strong for you
The way that you were growing up in my youth
Give back the time you gave up for me
Tell you the memories I’ll forever keep
Till one day I lay in this bed that you sleep
Pray my future children do the same for me”
Wow, just reading that line again as I pasted it in almost caused me to choke up. I have two mothers that are both going through the ravages of ageing, one of them no longer speaks or even acknowledges that I am talking to her, even when I tell her that I love her. Unfortunately, we can’t even visit them during this pandemic so staying strong means Facetime and preserving the memories until we pass them to the next generation.
More lyrics about self-isolation: “Sit alone in my room just barely getting along”
“I spend all of my time inside just playing beats at my desk
Hate saying these next words but I’ve been feeling depressed”
Lyrical evidence that I think points to a love that caused pain but is very real and Ollie embraces both the pain and the love.
“Cause real love never dies, it don’t mean we never fight, it
takes pain and sacrifice, no real love never dies”
Ollie, and vicariously me the listener, close out the album on optimistic terms. True love never dies and there will be happy days when the sun shines through our window, and during Covid-19 days that is about as close as we get to fresh air.
“Happy days, happy days, sun shining through my window, I can’t change, what I cant
change, I’ve been learning how to let go,”
God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change,
the courage to change the things we can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Ollie is a troubled soul, as we all are, but I am glad he is embracing that pain and moving forward and looking towards happy days.
Wait a minute! I almost forgot to mention the music while I was focused on the lyrics. The music is hip/hop/r&b/pop/country, the latter of which Ollie attributes his small-town upbringing. Check it out and decide what sounds you hear within Ollie’s unique pallet of soundscapes.
Stay safe and enjoy the music, happy days my friends.
Release Date: 17th April 2020 via BMG Records