Saturday, June 03, 2023

Olivia Dean releases stunning new single ‘Carmen’

Ahead of her new album entitled ‘Messy’ which is set to release on June 30th, Olivia Dean’s latest release is deeply personal and sonically fresh. The single is dedicated to her grandmother, who is part of the Windrush generation and moved to the UK from Guyana.  

Starting rather quietly, we hear an older woman speaking (we can only assume this is her grandmother) before Olivia slowly croons, only accompanied by a rather groovy bass guitar and an ambient, distant organ. 

We then get a glimmer of the flavour that is yet to come, as a steel pan is introduced before being followed closely by some strong horns. The horns not only provide a driving melody, but are also used to add intricate flourishes around the mix. The bass drum is quickly utilised and the track starts to really open up. 

Olivia’s vocal performance is stellar, as always. She has a way of floating through tracks, and somehow intertwining her vocals within the rest of the instruments.

Throughout the track, Olivia speaks of her grandmother and her journey, and how it is now a part of her journey. She sweetly sings “You transplanted a family tree, and a part of it grew into me”, which is just a lovely way to describe the situation.

If this track is anything to go by, Olivia Dean’s new drop at the end of June is seriously one to watch out for.

Dan Jones

Image: ‘Carmen’ Official Single Cover

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