Originally from Aberdeen, Glasgow based singer-songwriter Olivia Thom’s debut EP Through It has come at the perfect time of year. Thom’s warm and gentle voice makes for perfect listening on a dark evening, the relatable subject matter a comfort, at the tail end of a bleak year. The three track, alt-folk-pop inspired EP follows the themes of self discovery amongst uncertainty, and finding strength within yourself. Carried by melodic guitar and dreamy harmonies, Through It takes the listener on an empowering and inspirational journey of acceptance.
Opening track ‘Fine Wine’ explores self-love and acceptance – a feeling of being whole without relying on anyone else. The rhythmic guitar and Thom’s soft but powerful vocals build to an assured peak, the laid back sound transforming to match the lyrics of building confidence and comfort. ‘Waves’ examines the feeling of letting go of control and accepting things you can’t change, the simple production mimicking waves on the shore and the layered vocals cutting through its melancholic instrumentals. The final track, ‘Questions’ pays tribute to the support and advice of Thom’s parents. The song grows in tempo and becomes more upbeat as it seems Thom starts to believe the words her parents tell her, about how far she has come and of her inner strength. Through It ends on an optimistic note, leaving you feeling as if you’ve been on the journey of gathering self-acceptance and realising that it’s okay not to have all the answers.
Thom cites some of her inspirations as Stevie Nicks, Patti Smith, and Joni Mitchell, and while their influences can be heard in her poetic lyrics and honest, soulful vocals, Thom’s sound is entirely her own. Her gentle Scottish accent and delicate harmonies, minimalist production from Hugh Richardson, and careful instrument selection make her debut EP a stand-out independent release of 2020, and mark her as one to watch for the years to come.