Following in the footsteps of Tame Impala and Courtney Barnett, Olympia is the next Australian breakthrough artist to hit UK shores. For fans of Sharon Van Etten, Laura Marling & Anna Calvi” according to Rolling Stone, Olympia creates a world of heart-stopping melodies, rich sonic intrigue and big ideas, from places way beyond the debut singer-songwriter's handbook.


Her debut album ‘Self Talk’ was released last year in her home country and saw her shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize and receive an nomination for ‘ARIA Breakthrough Artist 2016’. Recorded with Burke Reid (Courtney Barnett, Jack Ladder, the Drones, DZ Deathrays, Sarah Blasko), ‘Self Talk’ is an album of brilliant metaphors, filmic soundscapes and a weight that belies its writer's feather-light voice.


"I don't refer to myself as a singer-songwriter”, Olivia Bartley AKA Olympia comments,“I’m interested in ideas and trying to create something that will move people; disrupt everyday ideas. It's more about sounds. The music leans on language but the songs don't follow traditional form at all."


Musically ‘Self Talk’ is an album born of specific storytelling intentions deliciously skewed by a passion for sonic experimentation, an experience that sometimes pounces, sometimes envelops, and surrenders more meaning and detail with each immersion. 


"I grew up in an evangelistic church near Wollongong where I learnedto play instruments by ear, and not that well," the Melbourne-based singer and multi-instrumentalist explains.


By the early 2000s, she was turning heads on the national folk circuit, but a degree in design led to teaching design theory at university, then setting up studios in Melbourne, Darwin, Indonesia and Cambodia, working with disadvantaged women.

The turning point came after a typically surreal solo spot at the 303 Bar in Northcote, when Simon Braxton from kiwi rock band Fur Patrol approached the stage. "He was really moved," Olivia remembers. "He encouraged me to dig deeper."


Borrowing her name from Manet's famously unapologetic 19th century portrait of a reclining nude, Olympia recorded an EP at Braxton's studio with Pat Bourke (Paul Dempsey) on bass and the EP, ‘Atlantis’, was embraced by Triple J as "like a storm in the middle of the ocean… beautiful, dark, powerful… majestic."


‘Smoke Signals’ is the first UK single, check out the videoand Olivia comments on coming to the UK and releasing music here “We built a little world making this album, and I’m so excited to be bringing it the to UK. We have a few fans in the UK who’ve discovered the work online, and also through the music video shot by Londoner Alex Smith, and it will be great to finally connect with them face to face.”


Olympia’s first UK show will be at The Great Escape, Brighton, on Thursday 18th May at ‘The Aussie BBQ’. She will then be performing twice more across the weekend in Brighton and also performing in London on XXX at XXX.  See full details below.  


Watch videos for the album’s singles ‘Honey’, ‘This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things’and ‘Tourists’and listen to the full album on Spotify

Paul Buck
Assisted by: Jacquii Eldridge jacquii@codaagency.com
Kieran Crosby