Olive Klug shares debut coming of age album ‘Don’t You Dare Make Me Jaded’
August 11, 2023 BY Jason Currell
LA-via-Portland queer singer-songwriter Olive Klug (they/them) has shared their debut LP Don’t You Dare Make Me Jaded via Nettwerk.
Olive Klug’s Don’t You Dare Make Me Jaded is a free-spirited, post-adolescence record dealing with the uncertainty of the path less traveled by, choosing freedom over conformity, and allowing oneself to make mistakes. In return, Olive hopes the overarching sound pays homage to their favorite folk singer-songwriters, with ruminative lyrics and passionate vocals as the record’s centerpiece. Backed by captivating tales and enchanting melodies, the album also serves as a poignant reflection on Olive’s personal experiences as a member of the queer community.
Becoming an adult is hard even under the best of circumstances. It’s a time when we find ourselves suddenly and terrifyingly responsible for our own lives. In their debut album, Don’t You Dare Make Me Jaded, Olive Klug emerges from their own experiences with an American Folk version of Sisu – a concept in Finland that means “optimistic strength of will in the face of adversity.”
In their own words, Olive reveals this about their debut record, “The central theme of my debut album, ‘Don’t You Dare Make Me Jaded’ is exactly what it sounds like; a brave proclamation that in the face of a world that tries to make us conform, take away our rights, and convince us that all hope is lost, I refuse to become jaded. It’s about coming of age in the modern day; discovering ways to pursue joy, write my own rules, and learn how to take up space as someone who has been taught to make myself small. Joy is something we must assert. And as a queer artist in an increasingly hostile environment, I plan to assert my right to live my life fully, and to take up space whether someone else wants me to or not.”
The result is a remarkable body of work that defies the dystopian disillusionment one might predict emerging from a pandemic, and instead presents the chronicle of a young, queer artist earnestly struggling to come of age in a difficult world. The title of the LP, Don’t You Dare Make Me Jaded, is a lyric lifted from their song “Casting Spells,” the most optimistic song on the album. Here, Klug has rendered a gentle, lyrical meditation on the struggle to bring the magic we had as children into our adult lives. “Some of this magic has faded/but don’t you dare make me jaded/I’m closer than I seem/I’m looking at my wildest dream/Cuz I’m out here/casting spells/on my life/left and right.”
Though not a story album by any means, Klug’s collection of songs follows a definite progression into adulthood, starting with the piano driven “Faking It,” – a playful, self-ironic overture to all the adulting to come. Klug follows up with an eclectic mix of popish songs like “Coming of Age” and “Out of Line,” only to lower the boom with a beautiful, heart pulverizing vocal on a tune like “Parched” that takes place in the desert of a dysfunctional relationship that leaves Klug perpetually thirsty for identity and connection.
Elsewhere, “Taking Up Space” might singlehandedly be the defining song of the record. It serves as an antithesis/character development response to songs like “Faking It” and “Coming of Age.” While a common theme throughout the album is this sense of imposter syndrome, dealing with insecurity, and never feeling like a real adult, “Taking Up Space” is the older, wiser voice that comforts the deep uncertainty nestled in these previous songs. “I deserve to be here, I know what I’m doing, and I am going to claim who I am,” proclaims Olive Klug regarding the message of the track.
All the songs on Don’t You Dare Make Me Jaded have plenty of integrity to stand on their own, and throughout the 11-track compilation, listeners will embark on a coherent journey filled with different emotional states, musical complexity, and depth of insight no matter the subject.
Quietly or not, Olive Klug has created an impressive community of listeners in less than two years. But in the early days of the pandemic, it wasn’t about followers or likes. “TikTok was, and still is, about finding your community,” Klug remarks. “I started by just sharing small bits of songs and I discovered that there we a lot of people out there feeling the way I did. TikTok helped us to find each other back then. We became each other’s lifeline during a time of profound alienation.”
Don’t You Dare Make Me Jaded is a work of immense substance and, quite possibly, significance. Klug’s almost saintly vocals rise and fall on gusts of sophisticated songwriting and modern sensibilities that surge with once in a generation potential. Olive Klug is not just “one to watch,” they are the one others in their genre should be watching.
Catch Olive Klug on tour this September with support from Sophie Odira, Liang Lawrence, and Mia Stegner on select dates. For more information on Olive Klug’s tour and to purchase tickets, please visit: https://oliveklug.com/shows
Don’t You Dare Make Me Jaded is available at all digital retailers here: https://oliveklug.ffm.to/dydmmj
with/ *Sophie Orida, &Liang Lawrence, ^Mia Stegner
8/10 – 8/1: Perseids Music Festival – Nashville, TN
8/31: O2 Academy2 – London, UK*&
9/2: Workman’s Club – Dublin, IE*
9/3: Conway’s Yard – Cork, IE*
9/10: Voodoo Room – San Diego, CA^
9/12: The Echo – Los Angeles, CA^
9/15: Bottom Of The Hill – San Francisco, CA^
9/17: Polaris Hall – Portland, OR^
9/18: Fox Cabaret – Vancouver, BC^
9/20: Madame Lou’s – Seattle, WA^
9/29 – 10/1: Sister’s Folk Festival – Sisters, OR