Portland, OR guitarist, singer and lyricist Olivia Awbrey crafts transcendental guitar riffs that pierce through her self-aware and culturally critical storytelling, making way for a new voice on the indie rock scene that parallels the heavy hitters. Her debut, self-released EP Fight or Fight quickly found popularity and led to sold out shows throughout the West Coast and UK. A singer-songwriter by nature, Awbrey balances sardonic critique of politics and culture with measured optimism and witty self-interrogation of her place in the world as a queer woman. Her debut LP, Dishonorable Harvest (Quick Pickle Records), is an unparalleled blend of wailing guitar feedback and pop-infused synth lines, of poetic intrigue and relatable angst.
After a year of touring solo on the back of Fight or Fight, opening for artists like The Beths, Mal Blum, and Japanese Breakfast, Awbrey coincidentally met and became good friends with CJ Thorpe-Tracey, one of England’s most prized underground political songwriters, as well as guitarist Jen Macro (My Bloody Valentine) and Jon Clayton (engineer at One Cat Studio). After partially recording a few of the tracks in Portland with her band, Awbrey flew to London to finish the record with input from the British cohort.
Lauded as “one of the best albums to come through Portland in a long time,” by #WomenCrushMusic, Dishonorable Harvest takes on the personal and the political with songs that are surprising in structure and viscerally sharp in their message. Awbrey’s songwriting is dense, each line a narrative to unpack. Her ability to transcend listeners into the world she creates, formed by lyrical edginess and sonic flexibility, makes her one of Oregon’s most captivating songwriters to emerge in the last few years.
2020 is set to be the biggest year yet for Awbrey, with confirmed slots at Rx Fest, Treefort Music Fest, Steamboat Stringband Festival, Be About Love Festival and more to be announced. Her full band is set to tour throughout the US and UK, and her first European solo tour is set for later this year. Released on her very own Quick Pickle Records, Dishonorable Harvest is out on International Workers’ Day: May 1st.