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The Sky Doesn't End at the Top of the Page


“The Sky Doesn’t End at the Top of the Page” is a euphoric, genre-hopping exploration of the way our mental models of the world develop—or cease to develop—as we age.

The album’s title recalls a childhood epiphany–the kind that so firmly demarcates iterations of our understanding of the world that we retain a memory of it long into adulthood. As a child learns to draw, their depiction of the sky begins with scribbles. Yet, as we age, we realize how crude a representation that is: our skies accordingly grow in fidelity, first to include solid blocks of color, then gradients of multiple shades. Our mental models of wants and needs, fact and fiction, and meaning undergo the same incremental progression and occasional plateau. Ultimately, no matter how good the model is, it’s just an estimation. Only through experience, occasional exploration, and repeated failure can we develop an understanding of ourselves, our relationships, and the world around us.

TSDEATTOTP is Olivia at our most maximalist, merging sparkling instrumentation, candid field recordings, and frequent experimentation into sonically dense songs that evoke a sense of melancholy and wonder. The soaring shoegaze track “Be Right Back” recalls the abrupt loss of a loved one, opening with a poignant field recording of Merlin the lonely parrot muttering to himself in a room. A swirl of uncanny voices coaxed from a glitchy machine learning model features on “New Philosophy”, which paints a wry art-pop portrait of a listless urbanite inspecting a past iteration of himself. The hazy, stuttery slowcore of “First Trauma” reflects on generational wounds and anhedonia, bearing a message from the past to a grown child: “making choices makes you.” Woven through each of the album’s eleven songs is a distinct sense of someone approaching the border of their understanding, in hesitation of what they may find on the other side.

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