OLAN (real name Luzana Flores) recently announced that her debut album ‘Contra’ will be released 10 June via Anjunadeep. The announcement comes alongside the release of lead single ‘Wake And Return’, which is out now. The Georgia state native has a colourful songwriting catalogue, including co-writing credits for ‘Buss It’ for Ari Lennox, collaborations with Mat Zo on his 2020 album ‘Illusion Of Depth’, the single release of ‘In Motion’ with Nourey, and ‘Push’, first released on Anjunadeep’s Reflections series.
The culmination of many months in solitude, ‘Contra’ began as a natural form of escape and expression for OLAN, apparently helping her find peace amidst the years of uncertainty brought on by the pandemic.
OLAN: “‘Contra’ is an album I wrote as a way to find some peace with my life having no definitive purpose at the time. I often try to attach meaning to everything I encounter. I force myself to re-live memories. I’ll try to unpack them and see how I could change my reality if I had just been a better person.”
Musically, ‘Contra’ is inculcated with a variety of electronic styles from melodic house, breakbeat, downtempo and D&B, to ambient and hip-hop. It’s influenced by the likes of Maribou State, Little Dragon, T.E.E.D and Bonobo, as well as the video game ‘Outer Wilds’. Her penchant for textural soundscapes is showcased in atmospheric tracks such as ‘Push’ and ‘Submerge’ and the Balearic vibes of ‘Material’. Conversely, the jungle rhythms and acid basslines on ‘Promise To Keep’ and ‘Reckoning’ demonstrate her songwriting.
OLAN: “Making this album was the first time I could be present the grief, loneliness, or isolation I felt when my expectations didn’t match my surroundings. It made me realise how much happier I am when I detach from stories or specific outcomes.”
A classically trained musician who learnt her craft between orchestra classes and worship bands, she incorporated her own live instrumentation and vocals whilst recording the album. Suitably, Flores will take ‘Contra’ on tour live this year, with performances at Beyond Wonderland, Ultra, The Gorge Weekender, and alongside Ben Böhmer on his North American tour.