Recommended Tracks: “Coming of Age”, “Bath Bomb”, “Cut the Ties”
Artists You May Like: Julia Bhatt, Daisy the Great, Dora Jar
When we experience the inevitable coming-of-age, it happens on our own time. It could occur during high school, amidst all the teen drama and new life experiences. It could happen a little later in life when school is officially over and the real world becomes the main event. As Olive Klug observes on their debut album, Don’t You Dare Make Me Jaded, a coming-of-age moment is not one moment – it is always unfolding. You may come of age when you get into your first real relationship, when you move out of your childhood home, when you go on a cross-country road trip… It is as big or as small as you want to make it, as messy or as clean, as scary or as exciting, and you do not have to go through it once for it to have a lasting impact.
The album begins with stories that illuminate how integral it is for doubts and mistakes to be a part of the growing up process. On the opening track “Faking It,” Olive marries their fake tendencies to their real-life habits, questioning if their actions are genuine. The charming piano sounds and aged effects on the vocals give the track a grandeur, a sense that something important is about to happen. After naming normal tasks that need to be done, such as folding the laundry and checking email, Olive asks, “If this is real, why do I feel like I’m faking it?” It is a feeling that carries into the following track “Second Opinion,” where Olive contemplates the validity of their thoughts. As if they are reading a diary entry, Olive sings, “I need a second opinion / Often a third and a fourth / Before I make any decision / Does that mean I think things through or have low self-worth?” It seems as if every move needs to be right, but when we get to “Parched,” we better understand that making the wrong move is a lesson in itself. Throughout the folk-pop ballad, Olive tries to justify a relationship that is full of “red flags.” They reveal in the beginning, “I collect your red flags and tie them to my chest / They’re my new favorite dress / And I’m not one to brag / But I think I might pass your impossible test.” But as the song goes on, Olive realizes, “I’ve been stuck in a drought / Thought you’d be my way out / But I’m parched after talking to you,” making it clear that a relationship should be more than just constantly trying to please the other person.
A big step towards becoming your own person is setting the boundaries and living on your own terms. Life comes with rules, but who says that you must comply with those rules? Who says you can’t make new rules? This idea comes across on “Out of Line,” where Olive invites everyone to act up, experiment, march to the beat of a different drum. Even though it has this reckless attitude, the music keeps things pleasant, as the sounds of the acoustic guitar, banjo, and piano fill the air. Another track that shows frustration without full-on screaming or rage-filled drum solos is “Coming of Age.” On this quarter-life crisis anthem, Olive sings, “They told me I’d grow out of all this adolescent angst / Why do I still relate to Lady Bird? / And Taylor Swift makes me feel heard,” thinking that they should be above teen culture. This conflict between acting your age and feeling your age can inspire anyone to simply escape, which is what Olive does on “Cut the Ties.” On this folk pop track, Olive takes us on a road trip “down I-84 East,” where they will “drive eight hours to play some songs for a couple bucks.” It is all in the effort to chase “elusive satisfaction,” which is hard to come by at any age.
A good way to tell if you have moved on or have evolved is by reflecting on the past. The light guitar and piano take us back to a simpler time on “Do You Think of Us?,” where Olive relives their childhood memories. Amongst the flutter of riffs, they sing, “But I can’t forget your parents’ address or the smell of your room / Hard as I try, it is etched in my mind, all the prank phone calls, truth or dare afternoons,” hoping that this friend occasionally thinks back to this time as well. A different kind of reminiscence occurs on “Ghost of Avalon,” which has Olive wanting to reconnect with an ex. They can imagine meeting back up with this person and talking over wine; now that they are in a better place, it is easier to return. They sing, “I’m not one for clinging to the past / But sometimes it’s fun to wander back,” entertained by the idea of catching up. The reflective track that really embodies the theme of the album, though, is “Casting Spells.” We hear the name of the album title on this track, as Olive reconciles their childhood fantasies with their adult reality. They observe, “You told me that one day I’d be in the driver’s seat of my own life / And it might get kind of lonely, but it’d be mine / Some of this magic has faded / But don’t you dare call me jaded,” knowing that the magic still exists. The only difference now, however, is that they do not have to wait for the magic to come – they can create their own.
In the end, Don’t You Dare Make Me Jaded is the perfect album to grow up with. Olive has really captured those inward and outward moments that can cause someone to wonder about where they are in life, if they are growing up properly, if there is a definite line between adolescence and adulthood. The beauty of Don’t You Dare Make Me Jaded is that it has a strong mix of day-to-day moments or thoughts that can speak to a variety of realities or truths – it doesn’t just give us “coming-of-age” experiences attached with optimistic anthems and words of encouragement. The main message is being comfortable with who you are and what you do, and if that means breaking out of the norm or refreshing your goals, so be it.
You can listen to Don’t You Dare Make Me Jaded on platforms like SoundCloud, Apple Music, and Spotify.