Recorded by Cameron Smith at Incremental Studios in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Mixed by Jordan Koop at The Noise Floor in Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada
Mastered by Pip Sullivan at Lion Works in Hackney Wick, London, UK
Tuff 2B Tender was made possible with the generous assistance of QMusic Network and Arts Queensland.
released April 23, 2021
Before Alice Rezende would dream in comic strips about a girl’s make-believe getaway, Olivia’s World was already a real place. Part homage to the imaginary world under her own bed growing up, Rezende’s Queensland-based indie pop project is rooted in escapist reality. Formed during a two-year minimum wage sabbatical in Vancouver, British Columbia, Olivia’s World came to fruition after a last-ditch effort for a drummer resulted in the recruitment of Rezende’s longtime musical hero - indie pop legend Rose Melberg (Tiger Trap, The Softies, Knife Pleats). Needless to say, dreams became reality and in late 2019, the band released their bright and buoyant self-titled debut via Lost Sound Tapes.
Influenced by the scrappy DIY ethos of Exploding in Sound and the innate wonderment of all things twee, the group emits a sense of playful fascination through dazzling melodies, doe-eyed harmonies and bright and punchy songwriting. Olivia’s World is a conduit for collaboration; the band’s creative vehicle to compartmentalize the events unfolding around our strange, tumultuous home planet. One demo, one EP and one lifestyle magazine later, Olivia’s World gear up for the release of their second EP Tuff 2B Tender, a vast existential outing assembled over a period of change for the band’s members.
Recorded one floor below a newborn at Incremental Studios with Cameron Smith in Brisbane, and mixed by Jordan Koop at The Noise Floor in Gabriola Island, Tuff 2B Tender contemplates time, age, disaster and death in whip-smart pop fashion. Olivia’s World’s cutting lyricism and clear-eyed melodies ponder on alternate timelines, question the empty gestures of virtue signaling and grasp with impending catastrophes. Alice Rezende pictures a post-apocalyptic plantopia in “Grassland,” an image cast back by the songwriter as a desire to flee the city in favour of a sprawling, vast horizon. “I’m just looking for a place to call my grassland/Everyone just wants a place to call their grassland.”
Opening track “Debutante” recounts Rezende’s experiences playing in bands and what it means to start over, considering the cyclical tilling of ideas, spaces and musicians in nostalgia-tinged harmonies from guitarist Tina Agic and bassist Joe Saxby. With Ben Napier filling out percussion, the quartet order anthemic pop hooks between sharp and upbeat punk, channelling the overt charm of Tiger Trap’s brightest tunes and the push of Sleater Kinney’s knottiest riffs. Again pairing up with Cascadia-based tape label Lost Sound Tapes (Rose Melberg, Lisa Prank), Olivia’s World continue to glimmer as one of the most exciting twee-revivalist acts in operation.
Aside from the band’s innate knack for catchy arrangement and undeniable charisma, Alice Rezende’s thoughtful, empathetic lyricism further sets Olivia’s World apart from their contemporaries. Rezende’s perspective-seeking words reveal lush and imaginative imagery; literary and pensive verses mirroring the author’s transoceanic experiences through time and space. Tenderness sure can be tough but Olivia’s World possess the sensitivity and awareness to assess big-picture issues of the future, present and past. Despite its exterior pop sheen, Tuff 2B Tender is a ruminative exercise in existing - existing as a bandmate, as a friend, as a human.