OLAN – Submerge

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OLAN (real name Luzana Flores) is proud to release her debut album ‘Contra’, out now via independent record label Anjunadeep. The release follows three powerful singles; ‘Wake And Return’, ‘Promise To Keep’, and ‘Ultraviolet’ which have garnered support from the likes of KCRW, Jody Wisternoff, Dosem, Eelke Kleijn, Made In Paris, Steven Weston, and Braxton to name a few.

The culmination of many months in solitude, ‘Contra’ began as a natural form of escape and expression for OLAN, helping her find peace amidst the years of uncertainty brought on by the pandemic:

“‘Contra’ is an album I wrote as a way to find some peace with my life having no definitive purpose at the time. I often try to attach meaning to everything I encounter. I force myself to re-live memories. I’ll try to unpack them and see how I could change my reality if I had just been a better person.”

Musically, ‘Contra’ is inculcated with a variety of electronic styles from melodic house, breakbeat, downtempo and drum & bass, to ambient and hip-hop. Influenced by the likes of Maribou State, Little Dragon, T.E.E.D and Bonobo, as well as the cult video game ‘Outer Wilds’, the sound of ‘Contra’ is fluid and alluringly hard to pin down. OLAN’s penchant for textural soundscapes is showcased in atmospheric tracks such as ‘Push’ and ‘Submerge’ and the buoyant Balearic vibes of ‘Material’. Conversely, the jungle rhythms and acid basslines on ‘Promise To Keep’ and ‘Reckoning’ demonstrate how raw, energetic dance-inducing songwriting comes naturally to the Atlanta-based producer.

This songwriting versatility is also showcased in OLAN’s colourful catalogue, which includes co-writing credits for ‘Bussit’ with Ari Lennox, collaborations with Mat Zo on his 2020 album ‘Illusion of Depth’, the single release of ‘In Motion’ with rising star Nourey, and ‘Push’, first released on Anjunadeep’s Reflections series.

In ‘Contra’, the aforementioned themes of self-awareness and self-acceptance are persistent throughout and realised in OLAN’s considered lyrics. Opening track ‘Submerge’ contemplates the cyclical nature of life’s lessons, exclaiming “there’s no limit to the depth that I can relive it all”. Other tracks such as ‘Promise To Keep’ and ‘Ultraviolet’ raise questions about fulfilment and where it comes from – “I’m asking more questions / Taking no secrets / But is there a message / When nothing is sacred?”. Each song presented a cathartic moment for Lu, as she explains:

“Making this album was the first time I could be present the grief, loneliness, or isolation I felt when my expectations didn’t match my surroundings. It made me realize how much happier I am when I detach from stories or specific outcomes.”

Given she learnt her craft as a classical musician between orchestra classes and worship bands, OLAN prominently incorporated her own live instrumentation and vocals whilst recording the album. Suitably, she will be taking ‘Contra’ on tour live this year, with previous performances at Beyond Wonderland, Ultra, and Ben Böhmer’s North American tour, and upcoming shows at The Gorge Weekender, and a soon to be announced album tour.

As a queer woman of colour OLAN is used to standing out. However, it is her capacity for creative production, dynamic songwriting, singing and instrumentation that really sets her apart from her contemporaries.

Release date: 10th June 2022

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Facts About Music Festivals and Competitions

There are several benefits to music, but one of the most obvious is that it is universally accessible. This means that music can be played in almost any venue, from jukeboxes to earbuds. It can be played on the wall of speakers at concerts, in bars and restaurants, and in clubs. As the most popular form of entertainment, music has the power to move us and evoke powerful emotions. It also serves as a social and cultural tool, triggering congressional investigations and inspiring the creation of art and entertainment.

Competitions in music have a long and rich history. The Pythian Games at Delphi in the 6th century bc featured musical competitions. In the 12th century, the eisteddfod, or Welsh singing competition, had its roots. In the 1950s, the Tchaikovsky Competition was established in Moscow. Competitions like these continue to exist today. Some music festivals also have a festival to honor prominent composers.

In the late 1970s, a new form of music called punk rock emerged. This style of music exuded angry rebellion and nonconformity. It was born in New York and influenced by the underground music scene in Great Britain. Artists like Patti Smith, Ramones, Sex Pistols, and The Clash became icons of this new musical style. The punk rock movement was later brought about by acts such as Black Flag and The Dead Kennedys.

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