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The Ornament

Gold Leaves

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Album Review

As half of the duo Arthur & Yu, Grant Olsen crafted a gauzy neo-psychedelic sound with lovely vocal harmonies and plenty of warmth. The Ornament, his first album under the name Gold Leaves, finds Olsen in solo project mode, playing and singing a much more intimate and orchestrated brand of beardy, reverb folk. With the help of fellow sonic traveler Jason Quever of Papercuts, Olsen layers every inch of the record with guitars, keyboards, vocals, and percussion in a very pleasing way that mixes seemingly contradictory styles like doo wop, orchestral pop, and singer/songwriter-ish country into a coherent sound. Quever’s mix is just right, letting instruments be heard but still blending them together into a foggy maze, while Olsen’s voice rises above it nobly.

Biography

Formed: Seattle, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

Gold Leaves is the solo project of Grant Olsen, half of the Seattle-based folk-psych revivalist duo Arthur & Yu. Olsen, influenced by the eclectic ‘60s songcraft of performers like Fred Neil, Skip Spence, and Scott Walker, began working on his solo debut in 2007, only to return to square one after his laptop and notes were stolen. The intervening years saw many life changes for Olsen: marriage, travel abroad, and the birth and death of loved ones, lending a new perspective to the project. With...
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The Ornament, Gold Leaves
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Contemporaries