olya holiday lands at number 1 on Matter’s Hot 100 with a relaxed banger about indecision and purpose.
Singer olya holiday is a new name in the scene, but the artist has risen to the top of Matter’s charts with “idk”, a pleasant cut with electronic undertones and a spacious atmosphere. Matter’s “wild west” appeal has led to something of an exodus; major names in the underground and even mainstream are expanding to the rising streaming platform such as the legendary MISOGI, queen of hyperpop Osquinn, and 88rising’s josh pan. Despite all the commotion, though, Matter’s being talked about as a blank slate, which gives people like holiday a better chance to succeed than on more saturated or inaccessible platforms. “idk” doesn’t sound like it was built for a coup, though. It’s a calming energy at a time where those are sorely needed, equally due to Matter’s explosion and continuing calamity in the world at large.
Electric pianos attack slowly on the first moments of “idk”, with clicks and hisses pouring out of spare percussion. At under two minutes, the song commands replays for full appreciation; simple lyrics give equal footing to vocals and instrumentation, and, with no producer credited, it seems all of it is holiday’s doing. A warm bass note fills the low end as the song progresses, giving the percussion some much-needed contrast. olya’s vocals are solid and reverberant, with a central refrain of “should I stay, should I go?” complimenting the tracks overall in-the-moment feeling. The track’s lamenting aura is multifaceted, not owed entirely to production, performance, or lyrics; all things come together to attempt to express a familiar bored anguish, ennui blended with complacency, a desultory sense of motivation. Though we all thought we’d have no need for more lockdown anthems, “idk” hints that fear is no longer in the equation. As holiday sings the title, “I don’t know”, over and over, the song’s image becomes one of neatly presented confusion. These themes aren’t immediately apparent, but the liberty and space of the song’s sound invite the listener back with every spin, and eventually daydreams of indecision begin to form.
All of this is impressive considering how under the radar this artist is; on Soundcloud her tracks rarely accrue more than 100 plays, but Matter has obviously bought into the refreshing simplicity of olya holiday’s downtempo world. It’s a time of change, new voices, new platforms, and new ideas. Keep up by checking out “idk” for yourself.
Listen to “idk” here.
– Jamie (@youngjade1216)