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Brooklyn, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

Brooklyn, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Duo Alternative Indie




"Show Review: OLYA live @ Bar Matchless"

Last week's line-up at Bar Matchless, aside from Satorii and Swampa_ZZ, also included OLYA, a synth-pop singer/musician who came originally from Moscow, to make it in New York. As fellow ex-pats (different country though) we can relate to what this means! Olya Kisseleva has also not (yet?) given up on her mother language and mixes songs in Russian with those in English and I am glad she does both because although this might not be everyone's cup of tea but we do like it. Her show was charming and with quite some catchy pieces...

Olya is joined by Garrett James who takes on DJ and percussion tasks, especially when live, so Olya can focus on her singing while performing. In our lovely post-show chat, we asked Olya what she'd envision next as a musician, if she'd like to expand her live ensemble? And without missing a beat, Olya confessed whom she'd love to add the most: a bass player. Here's to finding out what will happen next!

Be sure to head over to Soundcloud to find more music of OLYA, follow on Facebook and watch out for shows to come! For now, listen to her charming synth-pop and enjoy some visual impressions. - Enobo.us

"Song Review: 'Crash and Burn' by OLYA"

As the story goes, Moscow-born Olya Kisseleva rediscovered her passion for singing and songwriting upon her move to the Brooklyn area some while back. Since then, she had independently released her 2010's soulful, jazz-inflected debut album "Carefully" , denoting her first set of visible footprints into the metaphorical pathway representative of her career in music. Now under the moniker OLYA , the New Yorkian singer/songwriting is putting her chameleon-like musical adaptability on full display as she jumps genres from the early Norah Jones , Regina Spektor , and Sara Bareilles coffee-shop style to the recently revitalized electropop scene. Don't call it jumping on a trend, though -- OLYA makes her mark on this new musical world with one of the most unique takes on the genre yet in "Crash and Burn" .

Production-wise, the whole track is deftly cast to work quintessentially with OLYA's anomalous vocal. The song's oft-repeated opening cadence in and of itself is representative of the beauty in her tone and the positively divergent ways of her overall delivery. In terms of the indie music scene and where its most popular artists have come in the current moment, OLYA exists somewhere between established deep and brooding rock-edged singer/songwriters such as Lorde and the bombastic, yet well-tended to EDM revolution that's been brought about by DJs like Zedd. She's about as sophisticated as the former and commercially-apt as the latter -- "Crash and Burn" being a song that could easily set the scene for an intense moment on a big-time television show or impending motion picture. Locally, it isn't hard to imagine that the song could inhabit local clubs or modern fashion centers just as easily; OLYA not-so-much being a trend-follower as she is a trend-setter in this newly popular setting.

With her rich, sui generis vocal stylings, OLYA was bound to make her own imprint on anything she would've been tackling following the release of 'Carefully' back in 2010. 2013's "Crash and Burn" is exemplar of that, acting as a great showcase of her ability to write and perform infectious hooks and infallible harmonies with an intrinsically sultry, exceptionally gorgeous tone to boot. In her current artistic iteration, OLYA is acting as a prime representative of the future of popular music as we know it, and she just so happens to be one step ahead of the mainstream game.

To follow OLYA's career more closely, visit her on Twitter, Facebook, Bandcamp, and on her own official website! For all of the latest reviews, interviews, and more, follow me on Twitter as well! - Yahoo! Voices

"Olya, [carefully]"

Despite coming from a musical family, Olya Kisseleva was the self-described “practical one.” And though she experienced a deep musical upbringing, those pursuits were seemingly laid to rest when she moved to the States. After graduating from Boston University and relocating to New York City, her urge to pursue music resurfaced and she penned her first song with the helpful urging of a friend. Finally, gone were the days of Finance jobs and she spent the next several months writing [carefully]—her debut album that is comprised of “six different stories, six different characters” through six-tracks of her deep, sultry vocals nicely laid over backing jazz and ethnic melodies.

Opening with the vampy “Independ-a-nt” Olya wastes no time launching into the Jazz, lounge musicality of the album with a simple backing guitar and slight hand percussion. What stands out most (and is clear foreshadowing of the album) is Olya’s vocal delivery—a combination of English lyrics spiked with her native Russian dialect. Whether accidental or playing to her natural strengths, the combination of the two adds a sexy appeal to the lyrics and makes them fit naturally with the ethos of the song. “What You Do” opens with the scratchy sounds of an old LP on a record player and weepy string work in the background. Through the verses, the strings pluck along through the melody with backing percussion laying the song foundation. Backing bells make intermittent appearances with the choice of instrumentation adding a vintage feel to the song. But again, this is an album about vocals and they indeed stand at the foreground. Saxophone and brush snare work open “Let It Go”—a contemporary take on a traditional lounge track. The sax stays just below Olya’s vocals and carries the track through verse and chorus with intermittent fills. Again, the appeal here is the slight appearances of her Russian-tinged English lyrics.

Certainly not the “only in America” artist stories out there, but Olya’s stands out in that she has the goods to back up her musical pursuits. Her voice is clearly the featured “instrument” of the album but the clever choice of instrumentation and the throw-back, vintage feel of the songs adds a special flare to what could have otherwise simply been a album of torchy, lounge attempts that may have fallen short. The only shortcoming of the album, its brevity, isn’t really a shortcoming at all. I just wish this were a 12-track LP. But something tells me Olya has more songs in her and the full-length will come soon enough. I read that “many, many months” were poured into the making of this album. I would say they were time well spent.

by Chris West – cwest@skopemagazine.com - SKOPE Magazine


We take a look at Carefully today, by Moscow-born-currently in NYC-Olya. From big stages in Moscow to the Bowery Electric in Manhattan's East Village, Olya has been navigating her way and making a name for herself in this constant-evolving musical landscape. This is her debut EP.
There are two things that immediately jumped out at me when I first started playing this. First, it starts off smooth as hell with this jazzy lounge song called "Independ-a-nt". It definitely falls into some world-music genre with its Latin and Middle Eastern flare. I was pleasantly surprised. Second, Olya comes in with a fairly strong Russian accent. This totally threw me off. I was expecting it to annoy me after awhile, but it never did. It's sexy. It also doesn't hurt that she has a nice voice. About two minutes into the song, there's a brief Santana-like guitar solo. Very nice touch. Strong start for the record.
My favorite track on here is "Tsaritsa". A ballad sung in her native language, I can't comment on the lyrics, but it sounds beautiful and leaves me wanting more. "LetItGo" is plain funky, in the vein of The Brand New Heavies (remember them?). It has a nice steady rhythm bordering on the sound of Guru's Jazzmatazz records.
The EP's title track, "Carefully", is the second ballad. Mainly voice and guitar until the drums kick in about a minute and a half into it. The most interesting part of the song comes thirty seconds after this, when Olya does her own call-and-response-style harmony.
Overall, Carefully is a decent EP. I didn't think "WhatYouDo" and "Links" were as strong as the others on here. And since there are only a total of six tracks, that of course matters. But we have a showcase of a young talented singer. One with a crap-load of style. One who's worth checking out. One who definitely has the chops to make some good music. Russian or American, for that matter. - MusicEmissions

"ALBUM REVIEW: "Carefully" By Olya"

“Carefully” is the initial release by Russian born Singer/Songwriter Olya Kissaleva. This native of Moscow who has been living in the states since 2000 puts her own stamp on the genre of World/Pop music. When the opening strains of “Independ-a-nt” begin to play and I hear Olya’s voice I think maybe Astrid Gilberto filtered through Moscow instead of Brazil. Her voice with her Eastern European accent has a distinct flavor and the six songs on “Carefully” run the gamut from New Bossa to Classical Pop.

A veteran of Moscow’s Big Children’s Choir from the age of 7, you can definitely hear a choral influence in the arrangements of the backing vocals. Stand out tracks for me on this six song offering include “Let It Go” with a sultry saxophone solo provided by Loren Stillman, “Tsaritsa” which is sung in Olya’s native language and appeared in a documentary about Russian women living in New York. The EP ends with the beautiful title track”Carefully” which features a lovely string arrangement that helps bring out the passion in the heartfelt vocals.

Word has it that a new recording is on the way from this promising artist. To find out more go to www.olyamusic.net - Tri State Indie


"Carefully", EP, Oct. 2010
"Crash and Burn", Single, Nov. 2013



Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Olya opens a new chapter in her musical journey with her newly created electro synth-pop project. Smart and chic, simply named OLYA, she is cranking out a sound that is as intimate as her hometown peers in Lucius, and as bold and brash as current electro pop darlings Chvrches. 

In 2010, the Russian-born singer co-produced and self-released her debut album Carefully. Shortly after releasing Carefully, she put together a band and started performing at famed NYC venues, including The Bitter End, Rockwood Music Hall and Bowery Electric, and had a chance to perform on stage of Carnegies Weill Recital Hall. In just a few years she gained a level of notability for, as TriStateIndie wrote, putting her own stamp on the genre of world/pop music. 2012 also saw her performing at several well-regarded music festivals, including CMJ, CBGB and Launch.

In the latter half of 2013, under the flagship of the new electro synth-pop sound, Olya released her first single Crash and Burn. The singles intricate harmonies and rich vocals, layered on top of driving synths and deep bass, shine a light on what she has in store for music fans on her in-the-works, upcoming full-length.

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