We first heard from Sky Olson in July upon the release of his debut album “Unsure Waters.” The record introduced a multi-talented singer, songwriter and musician with a taste for soulful Pop songs. In his songs Sky mixes traditional themes of love and life with a wider view of the many complex societal issues plaguing us in the 2020s.
A lifelong musician, although he only made his songwriting debut a few months ago, Sky Olson brings the chops of a seasoned professional to his music. With lush multi-part vocal harmonies, beautifully composed and executed piano pieces and plenty of smooth guitar licks, he creates a sound that is immediately memorable and entirely his own. For lack of a better term, his music can be qualified as Alternative Pop. However, within that loose definition he wields electronic and organic sounds into a rich genre-fluid mix.
“Hollow Walls” is the brand new album from Sky Olson, released worldwide to all major streaming services on December 8, 2021. The record opens on the quirky Electro-Pop arpeggios of “Songwriter Without a Song.” On the track the singer cleverly maneuvers through topics ranging from his own writer’s block to the insane national debate about vaccines. “Love And Only Love” continues the mellow Pop and deep lyrical vibe as the singer delivers inspiring words of encouragement while casting a critical eye at those who stand in judgement.
On the empowering anthem “Burn the Walls Down,” Sky Olson introduces an acoustic piano, some great analog synths and a bit of EDM into the mix. As the album progresses it grows increasingly more organic. “A Waltz For Hailey ” is a great John Mayer-style soulful 6/8 Blues. Olson pairs his cool Pop tenor with some slick lead guitar and tasty vibraphone accompaniment.
“Still 17” bounces on a fun Country shuffle as the singer delivers an innocent and wistful love song. The melancholy yet hopeful “People Fade” continues the album’s acoustic progression with some great finger-picked folky guitar and more smooth Blues leads. “Broken Time Machine” is built around another cool guitar part. Lyrically, Sky Olson finds his Zen as he gradually let’s go of longing and lives in the now.
The closer “Empty Room” completes the record’s metamorphosis from silicon to wood. The song finds Sky Olson alone with his guitar. With only his own impeccable backing harmonies as accompaniment, he sings a touching ode to struggling artists everywhere. Any performer who has known the pain and embarrassment of an empty theater will recognize themselves in the song.
Check out Sky Olson’s excellent “Hollow Walls” below, or listen on your favorite streaming service. You can also hear the song “Burn the Walls Down” on the Deep Indie Dive playlist and “Empty Room” on Deep Indie Songwriters. We had the chance to chat with Sky Olson about the new record. Check out his answers to our 8 questions below. Follow the links at the end of this article to connect with the artist. Get on his socials and get in the loop on all of the current and future projects from this talented and prolific musician.
8 Questions with Sky Olson
Where are you from?
I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. I currently live in Logan, UT.
How long have you been making music?
I have been playing music since I started piano lessons at age five, but until February of this year, I had never written any of my own music. In April I won the weekly John Lennon Songwriting Contest, which made me consider, “wait, maybe I can actually write songs…”
Who are the musicians involved in your project?
Hollow Walls is entirely self-produced. I composed and/or recorded all the instruments you hear on the record.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
John Mayer is my biggest musical influence. Some of my other influences are The Police, The Beatles, Ed Sheeran, Phoebe Bridgers, Jason Mraz, and the music from the film Inside Llewyn Davis.
What is your greatest non-musical influence?
My mother. She is an incredible person, and has an unfathomable amount of love and compassion.
What inspired you to create this project?
After my last self-produced album, I said to myself, “I will never make another album. I’ve put everything I have into this.” And then shortly after, I started to write again. Songwriting is therapy for me. It helps me deconstruct what I’m feeling about the world, the people I care about, and myself.
What are your plans for the future (musically)?
I’m going to be going on a headlining mini-tour with a fantastic indie band called Cactus Tree. We’ll be playing shows in Salt Lake City, Rexburg, and more. I am also already working on my next three songs, so a third album is certainly on the horizon.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
The response to this album has been nothing short of overwhelming. I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to listen to my story through music.