Before Ontario-based artist, Harley Olivia embarked on a solo career, her efforts intertwined with several heavy-metal and punk bands. Harley performed in crowd-pleasing acts filled with clowns, confetti, and anything else commonly found in a pop-up circus tent. But while she was leading audiences in balloon sword battles, she leaned into her fascination for a solo project, one that dug straight into what she wished her music could convey. And “Diggin’” is that result.
When Harley toured with the band Anthems In Ashes, the group was awarded first place in the Jack Daniels Supporting Act Competition. This was no small feat for the title, but this award also paved a clear path to work and companionship with JUNO Award-Winning Producer Siegfried Meier (Face to Face, Kittie, Sectorseven, Woods of Ypres).
Harley followed this friendship and soon found herself back in the studio with Siegfried to work on her new single “Diggin’,” who co-wrote and produced the tune, out now.
“I wrote Diggin’ in response to a toxic ex who refused to listen to reason or reach any kind of settlement on the grounds that I broke their heart. As the battle raged on and the mess got bigger, I tortured myself until I discovered what was truly going on. They were playing the victim to make me suffer,” Harley said.
The three-minute track begins with a quiet keyboard opening up and culminates with a drum beat before Harley sings, “It’s crazy when the life you had suddenly changed.”
From the get-go, Harley dread-filled and anger-tinged voice bleeds through the record, conveying a story of anxiety and regret to the listener.
“Diggin’ was a way for me to take my power back without causing more drama in my personal life. Singing this song is a release but in the best way! It’s dynamic and messy – just like a breakup, but its strong beat and punchy rhythm was what got me back on my feet and excited about writing and performing again.”
Siegfried and Harley collaborated on the break-up anthem during the early days of the COVID lockdown. The pair co-wrote the track at Beach Road Studios. The time spent reminiscing and reflecting on the toxic relationship shines through the song’s production.
Harley’s solid, deep rock voice transports us to this specific relationship, and we almost feel as if we are intruding on a personal moment. The emotions conjured while she “digs” through the past echo through the “I keep pushing harder and what I found would shock you all, I keep getting quicker, but I won’t stop it now” lyrics.
“Breakups are complicated. In my past, anytime I’ve broken up with someone, I’ve been judged or demonized for breaking their heart when staying in the relationship would have been much worse.”
This anger powers the tune found while Harley dug and dug to get to the root of the relationship’s problems. “They say oh they say I am making a mistake,” she sings in a slow, teasing voice while the background electric guitar, drums, and keyboard knock on a metaphorical door. A door just out of reach exemplifies the inaccessibility of a toxic relationship.
Heady stuff for sure, but one you’ll be “Diggin’” with each listen.