LA’s Olen may have just released his debut EP under his own name, but it is certainly far from the first time that you’ve heard his voice. You might recognize the 27-year-old’s iconic voice from his time in alternative rock band Armors, which he formed with high school friends back in 2013. A literal decade in the making, his new music, all cumulating on his EP, So Codependent, is a product of his time with Armors, the lessons learned along the way, and his growth as a human and artist in the midst of the pandemic.
So Codependent is something fresh and altogether new: Inspired by artists like Young the Giant, Rostam, and Hamilton Leithauser, Olen is charting his own course through the indie pop world. Both a vulnerable and sonically dynamic release, So Codependent is not only a perfect snapshot of Olen in this moment in time, but it also marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter. With the EP out now, we caught up with Olen to look back on the writing process and discuss the future of his project. Read more below.
Prelude Press: You recently celebrated the release of your new EP, So Codependent! How does it feel to finally have it out?
Olen: I’m so proud of it and the people who made it with me/made it possible!!
Looking back, what are some of your favorite things about the EP? What are you most proud of?
I love how grand it feels! Most of it was done in a home studio the size of a garage, but Ryan Spraker, the producer, really laid the foundation for a sonically fun group of songs. I’m personally most proud of the vocals, funny enough sometimes the part I dread when it comes to the recording process. It ends up being a lot of fun but some days I just can’t sing the way I know the song should be sung, but we take a beat and move onto something else and that’s okay!
So Codependent marks your first full collection of music under your own name. Does it feel a bit like the beginning of a new era?
It absolutely does! I’m proud of all the music I’ve gotten to be a part of, but this EP represents a new chapter for me and I couldn’t be more excited to keep going.
Did you have any major goals in mind when you first started working on the EP? Anything in particular you wanted to accomplish?
I didn’t have any specific goals— I just wanted to create something that felt good to me—and hopefully others too!
Sonically, So Codependent is a very diverse album – were there any specific sounds you were excited to explore with these songs?
Trumpet player Jay Jennings played the horns on “Got a Name” and it is the first time I’ve ever had real trumpet on a track, so I will always be thankful for his willingness to lend his talent to the very first song I put out under my name!
The final song on the EP is a very powerful, beautiful conclusion as well. What does that track mean to you?
“Hurtin’ Kind” is the only song I’ve ever released that I didn’t write. Ryan Spraker and Tom Peyton had originally written it with a very talented artist named Max Jury but it didn’t end up fitting his record. Ryan showed me the song and asked if I had any interest in it and the next thing I knew I was tracking vocals. I was in the midst of what would soon become heartbreak and this song came at the perfect time. People are complicated, relationships are complicated and I think “”Hurtin’ Kind” does a good job touching on that.
What would you like for listeners to take away from the EP?
I hope that people can spend the 20 or so minutes it takes to listen to it and just enjoy/relax.
With So Codependent out now, do you have any other big plans for 2023? Any upcoming shows?
More music is already on the way! And we just finished up a West Coast run, but are getting ready for more in 2024!
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks so much for the platform!!