Listening to Olivia O'Brien is the equivalent of getting hit in the face with cold water—whether she's talking about heartbreak or fake friends, the 17-year-old keeps it 100 percent with her delicious dark pop music. Back in 2016, she blew us away with her breakout ballad "hate u love u" which evolved into a collaboration with Gnash called "i hate u, i love u."
Today, the Los Angeles-based artist has released her debut EP, It's Not That Deep. When asked about the cover art in a Q&A on Twitter, Olivia said that it represents "a basic b**** drowning in shallow ass water" which is "a metaphor for people who care about dumb unimportant/shallow shit and let it consume their entire life."
In a press release, the singer-songwriter further elaborated on the inspiration behind the EP. “These songs are based on what I’ve felt, experienced, and observed from the time I’ve spent in the past year in LA," she said. "I hope that my music can inspire people to be real and honest, which are the most important values for both my music and life."
The EP opens with the playful "Tequilawine" that depicts the feeling of getting drunk on a crush, followed by the anti-emotional anthem "Fuck Feelings." "Empty" is a sad song about the struggles of being an outsider, and there's "No Love" where Olivia calls out heartless social climbers. The project ends on a somber note as Olivia sends her condolences to a deadbeat friend on "RIP."
Even for teens like Olivia, it's important not to get swept up in the trivial aspects of life. Some pop stars shy away from fully diving into their emotions, but Olivia digs deeper because she knows she has the range to deliver it with authenticity because she's still dealing with so many issues herself. It's Not That Deep is out now on Island Records.