‘Star City’ most significantly represents a departure from the art-lead ideas present in Self Talk and a move towards more visceral expression. Bartley explains,“I didn’t want to write something that needed a lot of explaining, instead I wanted the song to be like something you’d try on – I wanted it to be immersive.”
Following on from Olympia’s celebrated video for ‘Smoke Signals’ from Self Talk, director Alex Smith (Metronomy, Coldplay, Iggy Pop) has created another world in the music video of ‘Star City’. It features Bartley dancing a routine of ‘rhythmic-domesticities’ in a boldly irreverent clip, extending the vision of the song, if not the artists own perspective of the world.
The Melbourne-based singer and multi-instrumentalist grew up in a house full opposing musical tastes, “as though there were a different radio playing in every room” including: Sly and the Family Stone; Nirvana; Patsy Cline. The artists’ first guitar was a home-made replica of a flying Vee in the fashion of Dimebag Darrel (Pantera) whom the artist lined up for hours to meet as as child (“there’s a photo somewhere”).
A degree in design led to teaching at university, and setting up studios in Melbourne, Darwin, Indonesia and Cambodia, working with disadvantaged women. This all fueled an ongoing artistic process that found its musical expression on the stages of Melbourne’s thriving music scene.
“I don’t refer to myself as a singer-songwriter,” Bartley says. “I’m interested in ideas and trying to create something that will move people; disrupt everyday ideas. The music leans on language but the songs don’t necessarily follow traditional form.”
Olympia will be touring nationally this October, unveiling ‘Star City’ live for the first time along with her back catalogue of songs— ‘Honey’, ‘This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things’, ‘Tourists’, and ‘Smoke Signals’ — as she gears up to release further new music in 2018/19.