Hidden Treasures:: Rolla Olak

In reality, knowing that Rolla Olak spends nights hidden from the sight in his backyard shed with only his guitar, some wine and occasional collaborators, is not so different than a bunch of college kids a garage banging out chords in a garage or icy cold jam space but for some reason it translates into much different results. Instead of hollow statements of fucking and not fitting in, Olak’s message seems more pure. Each longing moment seems to burn in the Vancouver singer’s soul, needing to get out and be heard before it consumes him.

 

Open space and reverb dominate these Colin Stewart mastered recordings and what you might assume sprouts from loneliness actually feels inclusive. Whether Rolla’s using gentle picks or Crazyhorse blasts of electric, each hesitation or subtle pause gives the listener time to settle into the melodies and relate to the emotion. Thankfully though, Olak refuses to treat his songs as a solitary pilgrimage to Big Sur. Acoustic is dressed with harmonica, steel or followed with thicker, louder foils. Olak’s thoughtful arrangements keep the listener engaged with surprises; the echoing electric work and self reflection of “The Drifter” fits the subject matter perfectly (honestly, this wouldn’t feel out of place on Fred Squire’s masterful March 12th) and the spirited blues riff on “Swamp Fang”, the heady grit of dark country rocker “Long Way To Go” and the smoking closer “It’s Alright” blossom with fantastic harmonies showing that Rolla is just as comfortable working with bigger sounds.

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MP3:: Rolla Olak - The Drifter
MYSPACE:: http://www.myspace.com/rollaolak

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This entry was posted on Friday, January 28th, 2011 at 10:17 am and is filed under Canada, Music, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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