Olivia Q has a mellow, sultry voice that reels you in before she chews you up and spits you out. One gets a sense that she can't help but let the song within her burst forth; her performance on this album has a rawness that taps into the deepest yearnings inside us, akin to howling at the moon. I've always said that Quillio's vocals stand on their own; on this well-produced record they are nestled on a bed of backups that only propel her expression further. The instrumentation is tight and rhythmic, keeping your toe tapping while Olivia slowly rips your heart out.
The first track "Weight/Wait" has an immediate catchiness and swanky backup vocals that would give Adele a run for her money. It might get you grooving enough to miss the way she puts her heart on her sleeve right away: "Never thought I could feel this human." But the second cut "Easy Killer" is a stripped away ballad where you can't miss the near-desperate way that she belts out:
"And I don't want to be one of many, no I don't want to be one of some
I want to be, want to be, I want to be the only one, the only one."
Continue to listen closely and it's obvious that she's not just trying to write catchy pop songs; she's exploring deep and often difficult feelings. This is the kind of blood-and-guts sincerity that folkies just eat up; this is what we all want from singer-songwriters. The album continues to display Quillio's honesty and diversity as it builds until a literal vocal explosion at the climax of the title track. There is a denouement after that, but tension in her voice continues to hold you until the very end of the last cut when she finally lets you down easy. Quillio has the confidence to take it slow and stretch out the tempo, but she never leaves you without a beat to rock to.
Who else would I compare her to? Well, I hate to make comparisons since music can be so unique, but a lot of other artists come to mind while I listen: her lyrical and melodic phrasings remind me of Joni Mitchell, the patient soulfulness of "Lukewarm Action" sounds like Erykah Badu in moments, the boppy "Playground" reminds me of Bjork's earliest jazzy projects, some of the tracks have an old-world sound that reminds me of Pink Martini.
I'm sure I'm not to say the first to say it and I won't be the last: Olivia Quillio is "the bomb"! Listen to this album; you won't be sorry.