Southgate House Revival, 111 E 6th St, Newport, KY
8pm doors, 9pm show, Buy Tickets
Olivia Jean, Detroit born n’ bred, current resident of Nashville, TN, first staked her flag with the gothic garage rock upstarts The Black Belles in 2010 and quickly set herself apart from the pack, performing as a side musician to a varied group of stylistically diverse musicians on a variety of instruments, culminating with her debut solo release Bathtub Love Killings in 2014.
Bathtub Love Killings was produced by Jack White with Olivia Jean composing and playing every instrument on the album. The album was an exciting and concise statement with a controlled vision of where rock n’ roll can go in these modern pop-dominated times.
Her latest, Night Owl, takes this vision even further by placing Olivia behind the control desk in the role of producer. Surf guitar, 60s girl group harmonies, and punk commingle into a collection of songs depicting heartache, revenge, guilt, and frustration — it’s “bubblegum garage” at its best. About the Night Owlalbum name and theme, Olivia Jean says “I am introverted and obsessed with art. I live every day with a lot of anxiety, guilt, doubt, and depression. I get completely obsessed with projects or completely imprisoned by fear of judgment. I find that staying up late is a comfortable place for me to be mentally to work on projects and reflect on life…”
Sitting in the Producer chair also led to the decision to include additional musicians into Olivia’s recording process for the first time, which helped evoke a renewed natural energy to the songs. “This is the first album I have written and produced by myself. It was quite difficult learning how to produce an album on my own without letting my perfectionism and doubt hinder the process. I couldn’t split myself down the middle to be both songwriter and producer. This learning curve caused tons of time to be wasted, frustration to ensue, but also forced me to leave my comfort zone. I learned that an album will never truly feel finished to an artist. Climbing with an album for too long towards an unreachable view of perfection is a waste of time and positive energy. Being the captain of this ship has helped me grow as a musician and as a songwriter knowing what is truly important in an album.”
The new challenge of producing, as well as opening the studio door for other musicians to collaborate, has helped lead to Olivia’s richest collection of songs to date. Surf-inflected originals like “Garage Bat,” “Shut Your Mouth” and “Night Owl” soar and scorch alongside incendiary covers “Brushfire (Flamin’ Groovies)” and album stand-out “Jaan Pehechaan Ho” (Mohammad Rafi – made famous in Terry Zwigoff’s film Ghost World).