June 10


OLAN Album ‘Contra’ Out Now

By RawKeith

June 10, 2022


OLAN (real name Luzana Flores) is proud to release her debut album Contra, out now via independent record label Anjunadeep. As a queer woman of color, hailing from the state of Georgia, OLAN is used to standing out. However, it is her capacity for creative production, dynamic songwriting, singing and instrumentation that really sets her apart from her contemporaries.

“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.”

The album features three powerful singles from the Atlanta-based artist --“Wake And Return,” “Promise To Keep,” and “Ultraviolet” which have garnered support from the likes of KCRW, Jody Wisternoff, Dosem, Eelke Kleijn, Made In Paris, Steven Weston, and Braxton to name a few.

Musically, Contra is inculcated with a variety of electronic styles from melodic house, breakbeat, downtempo and drum & bass, to ambient and hip-hop. Influenced by the likes of Maribou State, Little Dragon, T.E.E.D and Bonobo, as well as the cult video game Outer Wilds, the sound of Contra is fluid and alluringly hard to pin down. OLAN’s penchant for textural soundscapes is showcased in atmospheric tracks such as “Push” and “Submerge” and the buoyant Balearic vibes of “Material.” Conversely, the jungle rhythms and acid basslines on “Promise To Keep” and “Reckoning” demonstrate how raw, energetic dance-inducing songwriting comes naturally to the Atlanta-based producer.

This songwriting versatility is also showcased in OLAN’s colorful catalog, which includes co-writing credits for “Bussit” with Ari Lennox, collaborations with Mat Zo on his 2020 album Illusion of Depth, the single release of “In Motion” with rising star Nourey, and “Push,” first released on Anjunadeep’s Reflections series.

In Contra, themes of self-awareness and self-acceptance are persistent throughout and realized in OLAN’s considered lyrics. Opening track “Submerge” contemplates the cyclical nature of life’s lessons, exclaiming “there’s no limit to the depth that I can relive it all.” Other tracks such as “Promise To Keep” and “Ultraviolet” raise questions about fulfillment and where it comes from - "I'm asking more questions / Taking no secrets / But is there a message / When nothing is sacred?". Each song presented a cathartic moment for Lu, as she explains:

“Making this album was the first time I could be present with the grief, loneliness, or isolation I felt when my expectations didn’t match my surroundings. It made me realize how much happier I am when I detach from stories or specific outcomes.”

Given she learned her craft as a classical musician between orchestra classes and worship bands, OLAN prominently incorporated her own live instrumentation and vocals whilst recording the album. Suitably, she will be taking Contra on tour live this year, with previous performances at Beyond Wonderland, Ultra, and Ben Böhmer’s North American tour, and upcoming shows at The Gorge Weekender, and a soon to be announced album tour.

Stream Contra or order the vinyl now: https://anjunadeep.ffm.to/contra

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