Olive Klug Releases Debut Album, “Don’t You Dare Make Me Jaded”

Olive Klug Releases Debut Album, “Don’t You Dare Make Me Jaded”

Like millions of others have done in the last few years, I was scrolling through TikTok when I heard Olive Klug’s voice for the first time. At last, they’ve released a debut album that I’ve been playing on repeat since its release this past Friday. In a time where it’s seemingly easier to grow numb and dejected from horrific news and harmful hot takes we doom scroll past, Olive’s songs glimmer of more than just hope for the humanity within us; their album “Don’t You Dare Make Me Jaded insists and invites an innate, free-spirited cadence that refuses to back down no matter the trauma or tribulation. In their refusal to become jaded, they’ve unlocked an unwavering gentleness and joy born through compassion for confusion, mistakes, magic, and the overwhelm that is living as a force of optimistic determination. For those who seek folk as a means of finding companions in a journey of standing strong against opposing forces, Olive Klug’s “Don’t You Dare Make Me Jaded” is a force of its own that recalls what it looks like to build up one’s self, craft meaning and connection despite confusion and isolating experiences, and choosing yourself over letting pain or the unknown forge you first. As they profess on “Casting Spells” (one of my personal favorites), “Some of this magic has faded, but don’t you dare call me jaded.”

Olive Klug sits cross legged with their chin resting on their fist.
Olive Klug, photographed by Erik Bergamini

“The central theme of my debut album, ‘Don’t You Dare Make Me Jaded’ is exactly what it sounds like; a brave proclamation that in the face of a world that tries to make us conform, take away our rights, and convince us that all hope is lost, I refuse to become jaded. It’s about coming of age in the modern day; discovering ways to pursue joy, write my own rules, and learn how to take up space as someone who has been taught to make myself small. Joy is something we must assert. And as a queer artist in an increasingly hostile environment, I plan to assert my right to live my life fully, and to take up space whether someone else wants me to or not.” – Olive Klug

In authentic fashion, the album begins with a track aptly named “Faking It.” As a foundational component to the album’s initial tone, it speaks about a very familiar hater that lives in their head — a hater that both denies their goodness and qualifications to be good enough. In “Faking It”, Olive’s three-quarter time story about the con of waiting and the self-set expectations that force us to inevitably surrender the idea of a clean slate admits that there might not ever be a day that will come. As organic as the instrumentals and harmonies, the contradictions between facing the thief of time and the earnest rush to tackle the weight of our to-do’s exist in the same space, because of and alongside one another. “If this is real, why do I feel like I’m faking it?” For what it’s worth, you can’t fake honest writing nor a performance like this.

After the admittance of feelings of fraud crack the conversation wide open, we delve deeper into one of the dizzying methods of validating whatever our truth is, or maybe could be, on “Second Opinion.” Olive’s voice resurrects a painfully gorgeous sound of unknowing while pointing to the very things that feel distant. “My canvas is blank as a mirror, paint me however you’d like.” There’s an existential and solitary exhaustion that often arrives in a person when being misheard or misrepresented, seemingly searching for validation or guidance while they “pick opinions like petals off flowers.” In respect of an underlying wish to know if they’re overthinking or truly going through time consuming motions of proper decision making, it’s clear that they’ve crafted a place where their most important compass can resonate alongside a sweetly simplistic rhythm of their acoustic guitar. Ingrained in its delivery, there’s a sense of softness in the descending letdown of always needing others speak for yourself. 

That sense of burning time is evidently met with a new approach when we reach the next track, “Out of Line.” A song with a new energy in its step and swing, they ease into melody with lyrics like, “Every afternoon I spend muddying my shoes, don’t try to tell me that I need new laces,” which calls into itself a parallel to the album title. “I’m done waiting so I guess I’ll just get out of line.” This is the antidote to becoming too attached to “silly little lines” that the song professes we can erase, actually. Ease up, step out of line, maybe even scrap needing so much external input or prescribed structures that don’t work for us. This song is penning your own permission slip to live your life outside the lines, then scribbling a love note all over it before folding it into an airplane to land wherever the wind might take it. This is one of those songs that puts a smile on your face before you realize it, speechless and free. 

There’s elements and narratives of time and growing up, including the strange delays of wondering when you’ve come of age, while the world spins and turns in countless directions. As many of us juggle chaotic lives with laundry lists of overwhelming to-dos and adult-sized concerns (big “toddler running through a bank” energy), their “I’m not busy, I’m just full of reservations” lyric hits like a life-sized Tonka truck on “Coming of Age.” With a resolute sense of responsibility in examining immature moments and overrated adult beliefs, Olive holds dearly to adolescent stories that formed who they are. Playfulness in the instrumentals and production is both a highlight and consistent approach throughout the album, especially on this song.

In consistent (although novel) spirit, the track “Bath Bomb” feels like taking a slow, wooded walk with a friend you already miss before you float off in your own directions. The space for vulnerability and adoration shine through by design in its aptly timed riffs and melodic motifs. “You told me that you’re softening but scared. So I’ll put your boxers on, you’ll hide under the covers. Everything but our bodies will be bare.” Maybe it’s the fact that they’re an LA based artist hailing from Oregon, but “Bath Bomb” feels like sharing the comforts of Bagby Hot Springs with a companion who understands the magic of our youth will dissolve naturally against the unrelenting pace of the world.

With its own set of contradictions comes “Parched.” Aptly themed with a music video set in a desert of red flags, “I’ve been stuck in a drought, thought you’d be my way out, but I’m parched after talking to you” nods to an exhaustive chronicle of an emotional mirage. The pulse of the track sounds like it chose to move through Olive, and Olive had no other choice but to let them lead the dance (much like the way they speak to the person this song is geared towards). There’s an ache that echoes somehow endearingly by the end, as if the spaces between contradicting emotions left enough of an isolating venue to let it all air out.

By the time it reaches its inevitable resolution, the next song “Cut the Ties” grants a power that “Parched” had seemingly drained. “I got not that much to lose, so cut the damn ties” is as resolute in accepting change as you can really get. Deliberate and pointed remarks on specifics, Olive’s story draws a clear power from accepting the beautiful grays and finding meaning in loneliness suited for a journey into more purpose. “Loneliness suits the open road, just like a hand me down coat […] it’s okay to tear it down and redesign.” Without much to lose, they gave this song a strong finish with all they had that, and it fit like a garment of experience they’re mending as they go. Wherever they go next, “Cut the Ties” is sure to set them free to reach those foreign skies they sing about, sun on their skin as they traverse what it means to make peace with seeking more.

Reaching the end of the album, we arrive to another place where the album origins are made even clearer, its flagship in a sense. “Some of this magic has faded, but don’t you dare call me jaded.” “Casting Spells” grants a look inside the alchemy of Olive’s becoming on this album. From “Do You Think of Us?” and “Ghost of Avalon,” it sets the stage to bring the early parts of the album to one of its most profound moments on the final track, “Taking Up Space.” To this point, we’ve traversed time and self belief, strength and letting go, casting spells in our lives and casting away whatever holds us back. There’s a depth of space delved into in this particular song, one that reaches heights of ceiling raising backed harmonies. A moment of effortlessly summoning sounds I recognize from Hayley Williams’ solo work and boygenius level crescendo in a motion of their own, Olive finishes the album with an illuminating and elevating energy that affirms the wonders of the space they’ve crafted, taken, declared, and generously shared with us on “Don’t You Dare Make Me Jaded.”

This entire record is a beautiful conclusion that illuminates the fact that Olive Klug’s refusal to give into despair is a worthwhile pursuit beyond what can be measured. With a guitar and an angelic voice, their instruments speak to the loyalty and reverence they hold with their precious and other-level talents. An artist of incredible introspection, this is a compendium of resilience and existing as more than a spectrum of enriching experience amounting to warming, sobering wisdom. It sounds like life has tried, tested, even challenged Olive beyond familiar reasonings. But jaded? A resounding, impressive and miraculous hell no, much to our privilege and enjoyment.

Olive Klug has reached millions online through the last few years, but their current tour invites an in-person experience of connection you’ll not want to miss. Joining them on select dates are Sophie Odira, Liang Lawrence, and Mia Stegner. Come to a show, and take up some space.


Truth or Dare Tour poster with tour dates for Olive Klug
Olive Klug: Truth or Dare Tour


8/14/2023: written by Samson Winsor

Author: Samson Winsor

Based in Austin, Texas, Samson Winsor is a media professional who has excelled the visions of small to large-scale projects and clients in music, film, and live events. He brings creative direction to life with the soul of sound, written word, and world-building production logistics as his mediums.  Originally from Salt Lake City, Samson's translation of media skills in the music industry accelerated his passions and career in Austin as it continues to enrich his approach to production of music, film, and various media at all stages. As a proud transgender man, his dedication to uplifting the representation of queer light on-stage and behind the scenes fuels him even further explore the independents and underdogs of today's world of expression and art. Samson aims to bring people closer to theirselves, each other, and a shared inspiration that connects audiences everywhere to experience exceptional performance and authenticity. In his free time, you'll find him scouting local bakeries and record stores on slow mornings, mixing and producing music at home, traveling with a book to nature's hidden treasures, and making art with his friends. 

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