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Olivia Dean Takes You into Another Planet with ‘UFO’



As part of her fourth single from her debut album that has yet to be revealed to the public, ‘UFO’ is a down to earth (Or out of space) song by Walthamstow rising star Olivia Dean. After gaining success with an impressive number of 3 critically acclaimed EPs Ok Love You Bye, ‘What Am I Gonna Do On Sundays?’ and Growth’ in 2021, Olivia is once again mesmerising her listeners with a single that will make you question everything you thought you already knew about love.

Olivia Dean is a 23 years old pop singer born and raised in East London. Growing up in Walthamstow to a British father and Jamaican-Guyanese mother, the starlet was exposed to a variety of cultures and held a soft spot for equality and inclusivity already at a very young age. Not to mention her mother was part of the Women’s Equality Party. This resulted in her making the bold statement early on of wanting to only collaborate with female directors throughout the length of her music career. It is safe to say that Olivia is not only an advocate for love, but also for women’s rights which plays a key role in her choice of expression.

Far from her well-received debut in 2018 with ‘Reason to Say,’ the soulful singer is now in a quest for self-empowerment and equality across all genders and sexual orientations. Her music has always embodied love and prosperity, which is no different to her latest single, thinking out loud about love in the simplest of forms.




UFO

From the title alone, one can tell that Olivia is trying to put words into a feeling that is still alien to her. Right from the start, the 23 years old vocalist strips down all previous thoughts of maybe a song in the direction of electric influence, Sci-fi themes and heavy instrumented beats - and instead, she devoiles the complete opposite. ‘UFO’ is a song performed in its most sensitive state and it is as pure as it comes. It’s almost as though Olivia is trying to take us back to the feeling of falling in love for the very first time and although through memories, it may sound like a sweet moment in the past, the reality was at times scary, awkward and hard to explain in detail.

The Walthamstow artist tells it all with vulnerable lyrics such as "No GPS, no ETA, I don't know what I'm doin" and although this love may feel like a first; "If love's the key, I've lost a bunch, somethin' just keeps me looking." One could assume that Olivia has put all of her walls down in the name of love, always giving it a fair shot and therefore, ending up in a situation where she is still emotionally available for a lasting partner.

In an industry that prides itself for promoting toxicity and abuse against women, the starlet still manages to lead by example when she sings; "You're the best version that I've seen" ensuring listeners that she finds herself in a healthy situation with a significant other who aligns with her energy and compliments her well. This is because Olivia describes herself as someone who tends to shoot for the stars and perhaps unafraid to "fly a UFO" every once in a while, whereas her lover has "earthly hands" ’which may signify as someone who is grounded and makes her feel safe.




Take 1

The first thing that one notices while watching Take 1 is that the screen appears to be blurry and could be an interpretation of Olivia singing her soul out. In what seems like a blue reflective puffer jacket with a black background to match, the women activist continues to challenge the Western world’s understanding of femininity and the visual presentation of innocence by making the contrast from a sweet-sounding music to a dawn-looking video. One could almost believe that Olivia is not only trying to rewrite the faces of love through her content lyrics, but also in an visual aspect where often in the UK, people of a certain demographic are constantly targeted for wearing a roadmen aesthetic or simply a hood above their heads, presumed to be dangerous and unapproachable.

Throughout the UFO’s visualizer, the camera orbits around and makes one feel like we’re witnessing more than a star in the making, but a love confession. Her music video, which one would suppose was directed by a woman, makes her listeners feel one step closer into an intimate love story to be felt across the world.


As her perspective to this new process, Olivia shares;

UFO was born out of a conversation over a cup of tea with Matt Hales (co-writer and producer). We were joking about how love is a “sexy problem” to have and thought it would be funny to try and put it in a song. I wanted it to feel intimate and existential and so we kept it simple with guitar and a vocoder. It’s a shy love song, thoughts I would normally keep to myself but am learning to share.”

Overview

Oliva makes use of a soft delivery and little instruments to sing a love letter and manages to completely win our hearts over. ‘UFO’ is a playful yet a more mature side to the soul musician and as an observer, one becomes so invested with her voice as though her love experience was our own. Keeping true to her signiture style and known for “a shy song,” you can’t help but to applaud Olivia for being able to describe such a complex feeling into just a few words and melodies.

To conclude this, once you have heard ‘UFO’ over a number of times and can no longer get her addictive voice out of one’s head, you only wish for more. And although Olivia Dean is taking her sweet time to deliver her highly anticipated debut album, she’s able to keep her supporters’ content with each new release along the way and right on time for this needed season of Valentine.



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