Courtney Olson’s angsty but sweet lovepop

Here’s something new. Instead of combing the interwebs for an album to review, I stumbled upon this tweet:

It contained my favorite search term “free mp3,” which in turn led to the blog, and then the MySpace page of one Courtney Olson, indie singer-songwriter whose pop sensibilities would put many mainstream artists to shame. A quick email and a half later, and I was given two tracks to review and disseminate freely on the web. And so here we are.

Featuring excellent songwriting, some rhythm piano skills, and a wide vocal range that sounds close to Jewel, Vanessa Carlton, Dido, and Debbie Gibson (maybe not the best comparisons, except for the fact that I like three of the four), Olson comes across as young, genuine, positive and heartfelt.

The first track “Better Not Settle” is a bittersweet separation song, about not settling for anything less than finding your one and only. The refrain is a catchy gem, with the melody searing permanently into your brain. The second “Catch Me, I’m Falling” has her tossing snow up in the air, giddily in love. Although the lyrics are chock-full of cliches, the vocal performance helps you forget and instead, swoon in the artist’s overflowing emotions.

Both tracks are ballads with a simple acoustic piano accompaniment, which seems inadequate for the power her vocal cords can throw. I’d love to hear these tracks produced with a full band backing her up, where she can unleash the angst. The two songs are well worth the download for pop music lovers, and for lovers in general. All hail this up-and-coming pop balladeer.

Courtney Olson is a 22-year-old Minnesota musician who just officially graduated with her Bachelor of Music degree. Make her happy. Tell her you like her music and that Audiostylites sent ya.

Download both songs in one zip file [9.2 MB] Encoded at 160 kbps, 44.1 kHz, stereo.

Courtney Olson’s Myspace Page.


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