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Chicago, IL | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | SELF

Chicago, IL | SELF
Established on Jan, 2016
Duo Folk Indie




"Album Review: Almond&Olive, "Standing at the Precipice""

Almond&Olive, Natalie Alms and Ollie Davidson, are a new singer-songwriter Folk-Americana duo. Their debut album, 'Standing at the Precipice' features Alms and Davidson in addition to several guest studio musicians. Recorded at Kingsize Sound Labs in Chicago in 2016, produced and engineered by John Abbey, mastered by Peter Andreadis & All City Mastering, 'Almond&Olive's 'Standing at the Precipice' is one of the best new folk albums of the year; it's nothing short of a masterpiece offering 11 timeless songs that fans of folk and Americana will deeply appreciate and listen to over and over.

'Standing at the Precipice' starts with the song "We Will." The song commences with a stark and emotional first line sung by Natalie that grabs the listener immediately, "The Greatest heroes die young, fighting for their victory song, while their lovers stay at home, looking up at the dark sky singing." Natalie's voice is folk-perfect with character and purity of tone. Shortly, Ollie joins in. Ollie's voice is equally compelling making for a harmonic combination that is amazing; these two singers sound like they've been making albums together for years blending like two old souls in every way, from their vocal tone to their acute sense rhythmic articulation and dynamics. The song continues to build with impressive instrumentation.

The next song up is the title track, 'Standing at the Precipice.' This well-written song has a great groove with rhythm guitar at the foundation and very enjoyable harmonica solos. The chorus is incredibly catchy and very memorable, "You and I standing at the precipice. You and I staring down the gun. You and I both in the thick of it. We were never gonna to run. Watching as the walls come down. We’ll see it through to the end." The song is about getting deeper into a hole, trying to dig your way out, and looking for answers.

Another favorite song is "LA" which is the fifth track on the album. The song opens with Natalie and Ollie singing in unison. "Do you remember when we were together? Do you remember when we felt brand new?" It's a song about lost love. This song has a delightful quality about it and even though it's about splitting up and feeling tore down, it puts a smile on your face. Almond&Olive know how to write songs that are heartfelt without bringing down the listener; rather, the band is sharing their story and the listener is invited in to share their feelings. The use of rhythmic stops makes the song fun and the instrumentation, especially the piano playing, is brilliant.

"LA" is followed by another charming song, "Get By." "Get By" has a nice rhythmic foot-tapping flavor that builds into a full arrangement when the chorus arrives with great horn solo. Following these two mid-tempos is the song "Nadine" which presents a change of pace and mood for the album. It's a truly lovely and emotional love song that pulls on the heartstrings with a beautiful melody and crying guitar. "Your heart belongs to somebody else and so should mine. And the memories of what we were are beginning to fade" Almond & Olive have a knack for honest lyrics that are easy to relate to and sung with a lot of soul."

The album's notable lineup includes: Natalie Alms (Banjo, Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals), Ollie Davidson (Guitar, Harmonica, Percussion, Vocals), The Hoyle Brothers (Steve Doyle - Guitar, Mandolin, Brian Wilkie - Pedal Steel, Lance Helgesen - Drums, Josh Piet - Bass), Gerald Dowd (Drums, Percussion), Phil Roach (Violin), Anna Jacobson (Violin, Trumpet, French Horn), Scott Stevenson (Piano, Organ), Yvonne, Faith & Joan Of The A Team (Vocals), Ruby Harris (Mandolin), & John Abbey (Guitar, Upright & Electric Bass, Percussion). The musicians sound natural as though they are on a stage jamming live and the production and mix are stellar. From the pedal steel to the violin, the horns, mandolin and banjo, every ounce of phrasing is tasteful and well-done. The rhythmic sections - bass, drums, percussion, guitar and piano - are in-the-pocket.

Every song on the album is a gem waiting to be discovered and the last song, the ballad "Heartbeat," is no exception. It opens with beautiful, acoustic finger-picking joined later by simple, gorgeous violin motifs against the duo's warm vocals. The lyrics are moving - "Nobody owns your heart. Nobody owns your heart." It's a raw, honest song about pain and longing with an encouraging message of hope.

Almond&Olive couldn't present a better debut album if they tried. 'Standing at the Precipice' is waiting to be discovered like a treasure on a beach; if you are lucky enough to discover this group, you will feel like you found a diamond in an oyster - a rare, exquisite, tasteful, one-of-a-kind and gorgeous find that you want to keep in your song collection forever. You can find more information about Almond&Olive on their website. Their debut album is available on all major digital outlets. - Indie Spoonful

"Album Review: Almond&Olive, "Standing At The Precipice""

This debut album, Standing At The Precipice, from Chicago duo Natalie Alms and Ollie Davidson – Almond & Olive – are very serious in what they present here. Songs that explore life, loss, personal triumph and trauma and their view of the world aren’t to be taken lightly. I know we’ve heard all this before, and especially at this time you may think “enough misery or heavy messages. I’m on overload” but the music itself is, indeed, what saves this album from being too much. Working through stripped down arrangements, led by Ms. Alms’ banjo and Mr. Davidson’s acoustic guitar, the duo get personal in many of the songs, which is a noble and risky thing to do, but kudos for having the willingness to do so.

Case and point, the album’s title track, “Standing At The Precipice”, was originally inspired by the apocalyptic imagery of literature and television, but took on a new life with personal meaning. Mr. Davidson says, “As a metaphor for our band, we are truly standing at the precipice, surveying the future ahead of us while we try to navigate through the pitfalls of our personal and professional lives.” Obviously getting right to the heart of the matter, although the music is tempered sweetly with strident acoustic guitar, harmonica and an uptempo rhythm, the lyrics do ring darkly (“…but the books that we’re reading don’t explain what we’re looking to find…”) – ominous, considering the time we’ve just entered; “We Will” has a mournful quality and starkness that does echo the traditional work of Pete Seeger (it could be the banjo); “Mulberry Hill” has a warm, country feel and is one of the album’s standout tracks and “Long Night” is a finely structured piece that starts with just the guitars and voices but builds up with mandolin and pedal steel to heighten the drama.

This is a good beginning for Ms. Alms and Mr. Davidson; hopefully, they’ll be able to expand further on the countrified arrangements as it gives their songs a greater emotional impact. A nice release; low key and early in the year, at a time when something meaningful is necessary. - Pop Dose

"Album Review: Almond&Olive, "Standing at the Precipice""

Natalie Alms and Ollie Davidson are Almond&Olive and are passionate supporters of animal rights. Both fanatical Bobcats, they met while working in animal welfare in Chicago. A percentage of the profits from this, their debut CD, will go towards animal shelters. They raised the money to make this album from a Kickstarter fund that raised $10,000 in a month. Thank Jiminy they did.

Standing At The Precipice is an endearing and memorable collection of songs, produced by John Abbey (of Robbie Fulks note) that celebrates their influences from Mumford & Sons, Joni Mitchell and Bon Iver. The title track features glorious harmonies, pedal steel and a blazing harmonica that His Bobness would be proud of. The sensitive ‘Mulberry Hill’ with its ‘hey love, where you going?’ refrain, looks at the ups and downs of a relationship, supported by an emotional violin, steel and Dobro. Pulsating banjo lines motor the melodic masterpiece ‘LA’ from firing line to finish, and are aided and abetted by a glorious choir and piano flourish.

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros come to mind during the exuberantly strummed ‘Get By’ with its Dylan-quoting ‘I’ll give you shelter from the storm’ line which is further powered by a banging kick drum which builds the song until an expansive trumpet meets a delightful string bed. Glorious! Almond & Olive are the Body Shop of the folk-roots world: ethical, kind to animals and they sure as heck, smell real nice!

Muff Fitzgerald - R2 Magazine

"Album Review: Almond&Olive, "Standing at the Precipice""

Almond&Olive deliver an earnest and lyrically intriguing debut with a strong character and rapport in voice

Having released this debut last Friday (27th January 2017), artists Almond&Olive that consists of Natalie Alms (Almond) and Ollie Davidson (Olive) are no longer standing at the precipice but have taken a good look and lept over to meet whatever fate is on the other side. From the production, lyrics and delivery on this album, it seems like it will be a trampoline that should help them reach even higher than the mountain they started from.

A pairing which is undoubtedly sweeter than the foodstuff mix (though I think someone will probably try it), they are a curious couple of artists together and individually doing a lot of good for charity (particularly animal charities) and their characters come through in the photography, it certainly does not look like an exercise in ego. This is just as well as the tables have turned the other way and impressively this debut has had pledged $10,000 in just 30 days of Kickstarter, and the duo will be donating some of the proceeds to animal shelter charities (see their website here for more information). Surely there must be something more than appearances and vivid photography that has got people excited to hear from them, making them stand out above other Indie Folk efforts (of which there are many)?

At first glance and listen without attention, it cannot really be the themes within the album. Not to say there is anything bad in choice but relationships are a well-ridden path in Indie Folk (its probably the equivalent of songs about maidens from history in regular folk of which I’ve heard an awful lot of). But with an album such as this, which takes a lot of these issues and looks at them in earnest (and sometimes considering older love) it makes “Standing at the Precipice” sound like a well-spring as it bursts a layer of burning sand and sienna scorched rocks. It is strongly situated in youth and makes no bones about dedicating the whole album to this broad theme making it an album that speaks to those in the throes of passion, but not exclusively so. Sometimes it’s more excited, sometimes more sombre like a hint of heat delirium, it does what it sets out to do very well; there is something more here. Throughout there is an interesting dynamic of the duo,’s voices, the tracks have a varied instrumentation that fits each song accordingly, and the lyrics themselves sparkle the strongest amongst all these elements. The album has an overall feeling of being upbeat and interesting without being cocky about it, there is certainly some good, humble musicianship here to be enjoyed and admired. What about the tracks?

The first track, “We Will” is a delicate, dustbowl of a track. Melodic and catching it boasts some great instrumentation from the get go with it’s subtle banjo building into a much larger and incredibly appealing soundscape of big drum, brass, guitar and fiddle. An optimistic track that looks to two people spending their lives together, Alms’ voice is sweet with an expressive edge, a bit like buttercream which is soft and slightly grainy in all the best ways. The pacing of the track is kept with a familiar drumming and enhanced by the other musical sections; it has some fairly simple, but clear lyrics,”I will feel your heart, I will know where to start on my search.. to carry you home.” It is contentment in a song really, you can picture two older people toasting their lives and acknowledging a love that does not need to be spoken or the reasoning kind of love which imagines and pictures a practical partnership. A good opener which continues.

The second track, “Standing at the Precipice” wastes no time building momentum from the first track. It is full of primal sounds with a scraping guitar and a shrill harmonica bringing the slight menace of risk from hurt when in love. The imagery is rather shattering imagery as it describes this scene of emotional uncertainty in lavish and welcome detail. There are some nice cryptic lyrics too, “now the sky is getting darker, the books don’t ever explain what were looking to find,” I particularly love the small touches with this track such as the “whoops”, and the emotional yearning from the vocals.

Other songs that deserve a special measure are “Can’t Stop” which has a strong bassline, along with a precise steel guitar that rolls with heat through heat through cactus adorned sandscapes. The lyrics are particularly reaching and poetic on this track, “I won’t break like a diamond in the rough, I can never have enough.. I won’t break for you” and there is a splash of a number of synth/keyboard interjections that breathe even more life into a quick number. A crowd teaser it is one of the more optimistic of the tracks on the album it will doubtlessly be a popular number on live nights.”Nadine” is another standout track. Having a change in pace there a slower drum with an excellent interplay of voices with Ollie (Olive) seemingly taking a larger role, “Nadine.. this song was a dream.. could have fooled me.” It is beautifully solemn as it explores people splitting and going their separate ways. When listening it is quite a heart-tugging number as it effectively drags up your own memories of “almost loves” and partners past to parade for your minds eye. Time does not feel like the healer in the song, but rather like a cruel needle suturing a wound which in the end might recover but hurts so much along the way.

Track 7 “Long Night” is also pretty special track with it being part a welcome song, an invite to someone’s hearth, home, and life. It gives off a kind of musky heat,”welcome me to a bed of no clothes” which Alms’ voice is like a reluctant carnality, it makes the heart race and engulfs you in what is happening. It stands at opposite to “Heartbeat” the final track. “Heartbeart” is instructional, either as someone’s conscience or as one friend to another it says that “nobody owns your heart”. The arrangement is slightly sparser giving the song to breathe a little bit more than some of the busier tracks on the album. The fiddle is essential and it’s coolness is a nice way to end the series of songs and experiences felt along the way.

Well arranged and sounding really polished for a debut album, this disc has more than a shade of Americana thrown into it’s Indie Folk mix though it takes a hard Cadillac left to avoid Stateside cliche. It instead goes for an attack of the lyrical and outshines a lot of the competition with it’s well-crafted words and an interesting interplay and rapport in voice. Like the snakes of the Hippocratic oath symbol, their voices unfurl and meet together bringing their own styles to play. They resonate with one another in a way that grabs your attention and convinces you of the strength of their work away from the corn sepia photography and modern dress, their depth is there to see beyond a mere polished surface.

Give them a try, a nice debut and an album 150 backers certainly aren’t wrong about! - Folk Phenomena

"Making Music and Helping Animals with Almond&Olive"

What do you get when you combine two Chicago singer-songwriters with a talent for harmonious melodies and a passion for animal welfare? Almond&Olive, a rising musical duo made up of locals Natalie Alms and Ollie Davidson. Alms and Davidson met while working in animal welfare, and with their stunning debut album, Standing at the Precipice (coming out January 27), they’ve stayed true to their charitable roots––a portion of all proceeds from the album will go toward benefitting shelter animals through the Jackson Galaxy Foundation. We caught up with them to discuss their new album, their new success, and the message about animal welfare they hope to spread along the way.

What are you most looking forward to with your album debut?
We are very excited to be able to finally share all the music we have been working on all these months. A lot of love and care went into the recording process, and we’re curious as to how everyone will react to what we created.

What do you hope fans take away from the album?
The album is really about our impending journey into the unknown in terms of our music. It’s also about love, longing, heartbreak, survival, and the ever present idea that there is hope. We want people to feel the stories we tell, and hopefully relate to the emotions on some level.

You recently finished touring. What was your favorite part?
We visited five cities, and we really enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people. Wherever we went, we were received with such generosity and hospitality––it was really amazing. Playing our songs to these new people was also something to remember. Just to see how these great people became our fans was really cool.

You dedicated part of your tour to spreading awareness about animal rescue and local shelters. Did you get a good response?
Everywhere we went, the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. This was a bit surprising, but considering how many people love companion animals, it probably shouldn’t have been. Shelter animals have a special place in people’s hearts, and once we mentioned how we were trying to raise awareness for them, the connection with our audience grew every time.

You will be donating a portion of your album sales to the Jackson Galaxy Foundation. What is it about JGF that speaks to you?
We’ve known Jackson for some time, and really believe in his approach and foundation. By donating to JFG specifically, we are able to help them help more facilities at once, as well as develop broader programs to help abandoned animals. JGF will use our funds to directly improve the lives of shelter animals by enhancing adoption programs and rebuilding animal housing. It’s something we are honored to stand behind.

Why is it important to you to use your music to help animals?
We met while working in animal welfare, and giving back with our creativity has always been inherent to us. We want to make a difference in the world around us, be it for animals or social justice causes. Animals play a big role in our lives, and given that they need our care and protection, we are lucky to be in a position to act on their behalf.

What are your dreams for Almond&Olive in the future?
We are going to keep touring and making records, and we hope that we can reach as many people as possible with our music. We hope to continue to increase our presence in the world of music so we can continue to use our platform to give back and raise awareness. In the end, we love what we do and are very excited for the future!

To learn more about Almond&Olive (and to listen to their great music) visit - Tails Pet Magazine

"Listen: Arts on Fire – Almond&Olive Interview"

WRFA’s Jason Sample talks with the members of the Chicago-based folk duo Almond&Olive, prior to their show at the Labyrinth Press Co. in Jamestown, NY on Friday, Jan. 6.

More information about Almond&Olive at - WRFA - 107.9

"Listen: Artist First Radio Interview"

An interview with Ollie Davidson and Natalie Alms of Almond&Olive. - Artist First

"New Music Monday: Almond&Olive"

The WGN Showcase Studio was busy last night with plenty of guests on with Patti kicking things off with a in important chat about The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, James Vickery, Paul Farahvar, and of course the New Music Monday guests “Almond&Olive”. - WGN Radio

"First Listen: Almond&Olive – Standing At The Precipice"

Almond&Olive are folk and Americana duo Natalie Alms and Ollie Davidson. Below, you can hear, in full for the first time, their debut album Standing at the Precipice. They recorded the album at Kingsize Sound Labs with producer John Abbey (Robbie Fulks). Joining them on the record were Gerald Dowd (Bloodshot Records) and gospel singers from the A Team (who toured with Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin). One of the first conversations they had about music revolved around their shared love of Bob Dylan and favourite bands and influences, including Simon and Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell, and Mumford and Sons. These influences provide a starting point while the band layers steady acoustic guitar with the croon of a heartbroken harmonica, and rich harmonies with a hint of wavering grit. - Folk & Roots Music Webzine

"Early November Singles 1"

Weeping pedal steel, a male/female duet, soaring group vocals on the chorus, even a swooping fiddle. Almond&Olive take the pedestrian and make it shine, putting all these parts together into a majestic tune. - Independent Clauses

"Music Miscellany for 01/20/2017 Part I"

New year. New music. Good times are the order of the day. Kicking off this round is the hip hop of J. Rhodan with “Honey.” Following that are the Americana sounds of Almond & Olive with “Standing at the Precipice.” The indie pop of WHY? is up next with “Proactive Evolutions.” Wrapping up this edition is a new single from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah with “Down(Is Where I Want to Be).” - Idiosyncratic Transmissions

"Almond&Olive: Making Music, Helping Cats"

Like many of you, I am a HUGE fan of Jackson Galaxy and the work of the Jackson Galaxy Foundation (JGF) to improve the lives of animals at risk by transforming the places they live and supporting those who care for them. So when I heard about fellow Chicagoan and animal advocate Ollie Davidson's creative efforts to raise funds for JGF, I knew I had to help spread the word.

Ollie and co-creator Natalie Alms, AKA Almond&Olive, are a folk music duo in the midst of recording their debut CD. They met while working at an animal welfare organization and soon realized in addition to their love of animals, they also shared a love of creating music. A few weeks later, they had written a handful of songs and decided to form a duo. Once recording is completed, a portion of the sales will be donated to the Jackson Galaxy Foundation to help animal shelters across the country meet their goals and dreams. "Not only are we creating something amazing, but with our creation we will be also giving back," Ollie told me.

Specifically, this creative partnership will support JGF programs like Cat Pawsitive, positive-reinforcement clicker training program that enriches the lives of cats in shelters, empowers shelter staff, volunteers and cats with new skills, and ultimately, improves adoptability.

Shelters can be crazy stressful for cats. The sights, sounds and smells can make even the friendliest of felines withdraw and shut down. Stress can also increase anxiety and fear-based aggression, leave them more vulnerable to upper respiratory infection and other health issues, and contribute to many perfectly wonderful cats being labeled less "adoptable". Cat Pawsitive helps shy cats find the courage to greet adopters, teaches feisty felines some manners, and helps all participating cats become more adoptable - with many learning to increase their odds by giving high fives to potential adopters.

The Jackson Galaxy Foundation selected nine shelters from across the country to participate in the inaugural class of the Cat Pawsitive initiative. Cat Pawsitive shelters participated in training webinars with JGF feline behavior experts, received JGF training tools, handouts, and videos as well as national exposure through the social media outlets of Jackson Galaxy and the foundation.

JGF is just over a year old and Executive Director Sandy Monterose reports that the foundation is just getting started and has some amazing initiatives waiting in the wings. Most recently, Jackson and his wife, Minoo, celebrated their wedding anniversary by transporting dozens of cats and kittens 1,000 miles from Best Friends Los Angeles, currently full to capacity with kitties, to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley in Boulder, Colorado where there is a kitten shortage due to high adoptions!

Please join me in supporting Almond&Olive and help make their dream a reality while also supporting the life-saving work of the Jackson Galaxy Foundation. You can learn more about their mission to help shelter animals, listen to some of their music, and support their Kickstarter campaign here. If you aren't in a position to donate, please share! You can also follow Almond&Olive on Facebook (, Instagram (@almondolivemusic) Twitter (@almondandolive). - The Daily Pip

"TVD’s Press Play"

Press Play is our Monday recap of the new and FREE tracks received last week to inform the next trip to your local indie record store. - The Vinyl District

"Pick Your Poison: Thursday 12-1-16"

Now that we’re in December, it feels like as good of a time as any to mention that the annual year-end extravaganza known as Listmas will be kicking off later this month. It’s reason enough to get a little bit excited, though I’m sure as the month wears on and everybody puts out their “best of” lists this whole thing will start to feel like an exercise in tedium. At the very least, putting together these lists and carefully reflecting back on the year in music is a distinct and worthwhile pleasure. Also a pleasure? Another edition of Pick Your Poison. In this set, you won’t want to miss downloads from Almond&Olive, Lazy Legs, Moon Rabbit and The Obsessed. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream songs from G-Eazy (ft. Ashley Rose), Golden Features (ft. Julia Stone), Gutxi Bibang, Jaylib, Parcels, Rationale, Sofi de la Torre (ft. Blackbear), Sudan Archives, Uniform and more! - Faronheit

"Notes From Left of the Dial: Almond&Olive, Suntrodden and More"

In Notes From Left of the Dial this week, spends some time with new music from Suntrodden, JERK, Almond&Olive and Stronger Sex. What have you been listening to this week?

Suntrodden, "All We Are"
Suntrodden (AKA singer-songwriter Erik Stephansson) creates a picturesque ideology of plucked folk noise and indie pop ebullience. His work is home to an omnipresent clarity that guides his every word and note, a determined rhythmic blueprint for how to express the deepest emotional longing from the simplest production. He is set to release "Suntrodden II" Oct. 28, an EP that follows its predecessor, "Suntrodden I," from earlier this year. And whereas that release was a bit more about how to anticipate the darkness around you, this new record is slightly more relaxed and isn't afraid to let more light come to rest on the edges of each track.

On his new single, "All We Are," Stephansson crafts a meticulously graceful rumination on what it means to be human and how expectations can extinguish the light that exists when we're younger. This is a simple song told profoundly, a jewel of austere arrangement and execution. His soaring voice, acoustic and electric guitars, and a devious melody all connect at just the right angles to form a song that revels in its vulnerability. He's not purposefully revealing all that rests within his heart—it's just a natural consequence of his joyously inclusive aesthetic. Short but powerful, "All We Are" is an instinctual recognition of what connects us as people and how we can make those associations last for a lifetime.

JERK, "Delicacy"
Houston trio JERK, composed of multi-instrumentalist Austin Smith, singer-keyboardist Vicki Lynn and drummer Zach Alderman, creates a head rush of new age pop music that holds no allegiance to any genre for any length of time. Their varied pop perspective allows them to switch between approaches when the need arises, giving them the ability to effortlessly reinvent their sound, often in the middle of a song. And with the forthcoming release of their debut EP Nov. 11, the band continues to delve deeper into this opaque and damaged pop wilderness. While other bands tend toward the familiar, JERK proves that challenging your assumptions can lead to some exhilarating consequences.

On "Delicacy," the band wallows in a dark synth pop landscape where twisted vocal melodies and thudding synthetic beats cry out from the shadows. This is the sound of wind and dust whistling through abandoned corridors. It's pop with sinister motivations. Wrapped up in a bouncy, liquid atmosphere of half-lit influences, the track finds JERK showcasing the intangible links between the propelling of disco and the intimacy of the singer-songwriter perspective. Dance music has never sounded so damaged. But the band doesn't languish in these grooves; they roll along on a bed of looping rhythms and warbling ingenuity.

Almond&Olive, "Standing at the Precipice"
Almond&Olive is the work of Natalie Alms and Ollie Davidson, two Chicago musicians whose love of folk and indie rock has yielded an impressively unique take on both genres. Warm harmonies overlap with gently strummed guitars amid a flurry of shuffling percussion; it's an inviting noise, and one that is freely given by the band. And while this is a sound that's been culled and explored by countless musicians, Almond&Olive subvert our expectations of such a sourced noise by returning to the heart and earnestness that are the keystones to the entire aesthetic. There are moments when their music is bright and folksy, and other times when it possesses a fiercer outlook and motivation.

With recent single "Standing at the Precipice," the duo explores a heartland folk landscape that extends from their work all the way back to the Laurel Canyon scene of the '60s. The way Alms' and Davidson's voices spiral around each other is beautiful and reveals a melodic depth that so few artists attempt and fewer still achieve. The dense harmonica runs that pop up from time to time recall the casual story-songs of Bruce Springsteen's "Nebraska," although Almond&Olive's work hews far closer to traditional folk history than anything The Boss ever did. It's buoyant and brash, a shot of folk insurgency that reveals that there is still some secrecy left to discover, even in such a familiar sound.

Stronger Sex, "Dating"
Evolving from the solo project of musician Johnny Fantastic, Washington, D.C.-based noise pop outfit Stronger Sex now includes the dynamic voice and beats of Leah Gage. Together, they make a truly bright and affecting pop cacophony, one that's enveloped in vivid neon lights. Veering quickly between whirling dream pop and a nightmarish synth noise, the duo concocts a mesmerizing brew of fluorescent rhythms and melodies. By absorbing numerous disparate influences, they're able to mine a handful of genres and easily remove the most potent parts of each. By working with a far broader musical palette than their peers, Stronger Sex is better able to alter and reinvent their multifaceted sound while investigating some wonderfully weird sounds.

With "Dating," the band unfurls a dense, beat-driven landscape where melody and emotion become intrinsically entwined. There's an artificiality to the song, but it's that same artificiality that keeps the song from falling back on rote influences and banal rhythms. The atmosphere is charged with an electric pop current, a crackling resolution of the numerous influences that both artists bring to the mix. Notes curl and evolve faster than you realize, while spaced-out synths dive and flirt with their glittering voices. There's a gorgeous viscosity to "Dating" that reveals itself immediately, but you only fully begin to perceive its true intentions after a handful of listens. After that, its electronic heart takes over, and all you can hear is that synaptic pulse and pop shake.

posted by Joshua Pickard -

"Almond&Olive Releases New Indie Folk Single, “Mulberry Hill”"

Like the inception of a memorable romance, Almond&Olive’s newest single, “Mulberry Hill,” plucks gently into existence and refuses to be ignored. The song lives in the moment after two lovers, separated by all that life throws, live inside their own remembrance as Natalie Alms and Ollie Davidson croon over the fictitious Mulberry Hill, where troubles and cares disappear for the duration of a ballad. The single is off their album Standing at the Precipice, due out January 27. - Skope Mag

"Listen: Interview with Ollie Davidson of Almond&Olive"

Ollie has two passions: animal welfare and music. He and his musical partner, Natalie Alms, are about to drop their debut album, and are donating a portion of its sales to the Jackson Galaxy Foundation. Ollie met Jackson (who also plays music in his spare time) a few years ago and they’ve kept in touch given their shared interests. Ollie has played a number of professional roles in the animal welfare world, involved with programs, shelter operations, managing volunteers and digital marketing. He discusses the importance of “balance” to avoid burnout among staff and volunteers, the challenge of having a non-profit’s board and staff aligned as to the organization’s goals, and his ‘fantastic looking” backyard colony of cats. - Community Cats Podcast

"Listen: Almond&Olive, 'Mulberry Hill'"

Artist: Almond&Olive
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Song: "Mulberry Hill"
Album: Standing at the Precipice
Release Date: January 27, 2017

In Their Words: "'Mulberry Hill' was one of the first songs Natalie and I played together. I wrote it year or so before I brought it to the band, and immediately our voices meshed together perfectly, with Natalie's beautiful guitar melody completing the arrangement. The song was a hit right away with our fans, who seemed to relate to the wistful tone of love not realized, as well as the forlorn refrain of forbidden romance. The song tries capture that moment of dreaming and hope right when you realize you love someone you can't have, but think, just for a minute, maybe it will all work out." -- Ollie Davidson - The Bluegrass Situation

"Almond&Olive - Mulberry Hill"

Like the inception of a memorable romance, Almond&Olive’s newest single, “Mulberry Hill,” plucks gently into existence and refuses to be ignored. The song lives in the moment after two lovers, separated by all that life throws, live inside their own remembrance as Natalie Alms and Ollie Davidson croon over the fictitious Mulberry Hill, where troubles and cares disappear for the duration of a ballad. The single is off their album Standing at the Precipice, due out January 27.

“Mulberry Hill” feels like a slow dance, gently shifting from soft to sorrowful with the strike of a chord. The air of sadness amplifies how things cannot return to how they were, no matter how wistful the moment is. Seamless, continuous harmony of Alms’ and Davidson’s vocals carry throughout the song and set the story back down on mutual ground. Although love and loss is not easy, it can be just as beautiful as swaying to a song that sounds how nostalgia feels. - Paste Magazine


Standing at the Precipice - debut LP - released January 27th, 2017



Chicago duo, Almond&Olive, creates inspiring songs that span the folk and Americana genres while also incorporating the duo's timeless vocals and distinct songwriting. A&O's voices sound made for each other and guide their vulnerable storytelling through odysseys of hope, love, and loss. A&O believe, when possible, in using their platform of musical creation and performance to bring attention to important social justice issues and nonprofit causes that make a difference in the lives of people and animals. After spending three years touring, Ollie and Natalie are in the studio recording their second album, dropping Spring of 2020.

Band Members