Olivia Burke, a Tullamore, Co.Offaly native, has finished four years studying Commercial Modern Music and Songwriting at BIMM Dublin. In the past she has performed in many venues including Whelan’s, The Workman’s Club, Dolans and was shortlisted in the final 33 of the Hotpress Big Break Competition back in 2014. Still only 22 years old, she has been releasing her own music for many years including a single back in May called Anybody Else and an EP called Notes On My Napkin back in 2015 which she successfully got crowdfunding for through a Fund It. Burke’s influences include Amy Winehouse, Lorde, Frank Ocean, Kacey Musgraves.
Her new single You’re Alive was written by Keith McLoughlin and Grace Day and recorded at Beardfire Music Production Studio & Label. Drawing inspiration from pop power houses such as Maggie Roggers and Jessie Ware, ’You’re Alive draws parallels between coming to terms with the end of a friendship or relationship and the feeling of grief. While the subject of the song is heavy, the melody and instrumentation remain uplifting, featuring dreamy synths, vibrant electro drums and pristine pop vocals delivered by Olivia. How the song came to be is a perfect example of a pandemic collaboration; Keith McLoughlin wrote some lyrics and sent them to Grace Day, who currently lives in Nashville. From there, Keith and Grace wrote the song together over Facebook video calls.
Having heard Olivia Burke sing on his radio show, Keith decided Olivia would be perfect for the song. Olivia was fully on board to sing and perform on the song. She joined in on the video calls along with the Beardfire Music team to work on pre-production before spending an afternoon in the studio recording vocals, guitar etc.
Burke's soulful vocal is the leading force of this seemingly chilled out pop track but if you listen carefully, a lot is hidden behind the lines. The arrangement is simple, a few beats and the guitar guiding the direction of the track before it turns into a full band sound for a while and then quietens yet again. This seems to fit the taste of the majority of the listeners of 21st century. Nothing too complicated, there could be a deeper meaning hidden but how many are willing to dig deeper?