Synth seamstress Oly knows all about moving around and absorbing new cultures. On her first EP, A Hot Hooray, this Miami diva's musical rearing and geographical displacement are evident on every turn. Born in Los Angeles to Mexican parents and reared in South Florida in the turbulent Eighties, Oly's musical diet was a fusion of her mother's homemaking Yoko Ono musings, her sister's Miami ghetto bass, her dad's disco LPs, and her own explorations into punk and indie rock. Trying to disentangle this knotty music-culture milieu using only piano ditties -- as Oly does on A Hot Hooray -- is not an easy task. But it's a perfectly whimsical foil for a coy girl trying to convey some deep emotions.
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Opening with heavy, echoing drum loops and Casio tones in "Endless Not Aimless," a lyrically romantic invitation is extended to the listener over a minimalist production arrangement. Meanwhile "Dead Woman" and "Swallow" are posies treading into the softer realms of Brazilian jazz, with momentary mood-wranglers of sampled beats juxtaposed with her controlled melodies and breathy vocals.
The punkier "No Money Fun" is a DIY tribute to younger days spent playing in the pre-9/11 hiding spots of Miami International Airport and the quiet, seductive moments in the glow of a car's tape deck. The song hints at a central motif that Oly returns to frequently: a childlike innocence that never dares tool the esprit femelle into obvious sexuality. It's no surprise this autumn Oly will be relocating to the romantic haunts of Paris, where her small army of laptops, melodicas, and keyboards will be creating an album's worth of material. Call it lo-fi pop, roller-booty, ambient dissonance, or whatever, but there's no denying that A Hot Hooray is at all times deeply moving, soothing, and inviting.