Launching a music career during a global pandemic is no small feat, and British indie-pop artist Beren Olivia is crushing the game. The 22-year-old has had a lifelong interest in the arts, participating in theatre and dance at school and teaching herself guitar as a teenager. However, she didn’t get serious about making music until early last year. After posting videos of herself singing online, Grammy-nominated producer Scott Robinson noticed her and flew her out to L.A. for two weeks to work with industry giants. One of the songs she wrote during those sessions, ‘Black Magic,’ garnered enough attention that she decided to put everything she had into making music. While Beren Olivia may be a newcomer, we love what she’s done so far and can’t wait to hear more.
A Youthful Spin On Alt-Pop
When Beren spoke with Flavourmag last year, she described her sound as “cinematic with a pretty, story-telling topline and conflicting dark, bassy production.” Her songs deliver potent beats and rich textures made up of guitars and electronic sounds. Even amidst all the instruments, her smoky vocals never fail to cut through the mix loud and clear. On her most recent release, ‘Hurt Again,’ Beren guides us through the relatable experience of wanting someone who’s already hurt her. She sure knows how to set an emotional tone in her music and lyrics for such a new artist. This song came out in June ahead of her debut EP, which is currently in the works. The EP will be produced by Dylan Bauld, whose past projects include albums by Halsey and Simple Creatures.
In addition to the songs themselves, we’re vibing with Beren’s visual aesthetic. The music video for ‘Is That What You Like Now,’ released in May of this year, features a very minimalistic set. There’s a bed, a lamp, and a desk with a mirror and makeup. Oh, and of course, there’s understated blue and pink lighting that adds a youthful flavor. Beren alternates between sitting on the bed and hunching over the desk while gazing at herself in the mirror as she removes her makeup, clearly unsatisfied with what’s underneath. Above the crashing cymbals, she asks over and over, “Is that what you like now?” with the echo of her backup vocals emphasizing her frustration. Despite its sad lyrics, ‘Is That What You Like Now’ has one of Beren’s signature pop beats that we can’t help but move to.
Good Vibes Only
Instead of letting the pandemic get her down, Beren used it as a chance to shine. In true Gen Z fashion, she took to social media to share her talents with the world. On Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, she’s posted acoustic pop covers as well as socially distanced collabs with artists like Ryan Meaney from New Rules and Billy Lockett. These videos highlight Beren’s creative resilience in the face of difficult circumstances and prove she’s got the chops to make music even without a huge production team.
Along with music, Beren has also posted quarantine vlogs and fun TikToks that we’re absolutely living for. Sometimes they tie into her artistic promotion, but other times she’s simply a goofball. Either way, Beren’s down-to-earth personality will charm you just as much as her songs do. Plus, her adorable dog, Rosie, makes frequent appearances on her social media.
So, What Are You Waiting For?
Beren has been releasing bop after bop, so now it’s time to go listen! Let us know which of her songs you like most in the comments, on Twitter @TheHoneyPOP, on Instagram, or our Facebook page. We’re so stoked to see what the future holds for Beren Olivia, and we hope you are, too!
Featured Image Source: Jamie Muir via Dork
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Holly McDonald is a recent college graduate working as a freelance writer and editor in Phoenix, Arizona.