Central Florida singer/songwriter Ivy Hollivana's music is a seeming study in opposites, deftly balancing pop and experimental sensibilities, a classical vocal style with alien electronic arrangements.
Earlier this month, Hollivana released her ethereal new album LOVERDIAMOND, a record that emanates hope and compassion, much needed at this particular moment in time.
To accompany the new album, Hollivana also released a music video for the track "Risk." Filmed in Joshua Tree, California, at the Rainbow Bath House installation by fellow musical outlier Precious Child (who she shared a stage with at Will's Pub last year), and it's every bit as dreamlike as the circumstances of its creation would suggest.
Hollivana is a musician who has played all over the country – and as far away as Australia – and delighted in regularly playing Orlando shows. But as dedicated a performer as Hollivana is, she's content to just be a recording musician for the time being. And that suits her too. She's a prolific songwriter and promises new new music on every Bandcamp Friday, so we recommend you follow her on that platform.
Talk about the recording and writing of LOVERDIAMOND, was it all completed before the pandemic? LOVERDIAMOND was written in early 2019 while I was at my previous job last year and viciously depressed from it. Live music and seeing my friends on the Mills 50 strip was the only thing keeping me afloat. Every day I thank the earth for them. I recorded the album all in my bedroom in between the out-of-state and international shows I was doing. Balancing all that was making me lose it. Once I quit and headed into music almost full time, I felt the serotonin return and my workflow increased dramatically.
What are the concepts behind LOVERDIAMOND?
The album has very heavy lyrics for most songs – reliving trauma, facing intrusive thoughts, coming to terms with death, and trying my best to overcome the horrible thoughts haunting me. It’s paired with my electronic orchestral-pop production. The juxtaposition is something I live for. A lot of times after shows people come up to me bewildered about how sad the lyrics were but how ethereal the music was.
A “loverdiamond” is a fictional stone that grows within you as you learn more about your heart. It represented what I learned as I went across America and beyond playing shows and the love I found for people I met on that journey. I realized what was important to me – and working a miserable 9-5 in a soul-sickening industry was hindering my road to recovery. I quit my job and started carving out more time to sit down with my craft and it’s been only blessings ever since.
You played shows constantly pre-coronavirus, what would make you comfortable enough to get on a stage again?
Even though I grew up getting my start on URL shows, it really just doesn't compare to live shows. I grew up pretty isolated so when I started doing shows IRL I never wanted to go back to online shows. I thrive off of seeing the crowd and interacting with them, running around in the crowd and moshing – feeling my friends energy around me. Since I work on everything on a screen now, I miss the disconnect. I really want to start streaming outside at least.
I want nothing more than to play live shows again, but I am so worried about getting COVID. Basically, the only way I would do shows is if I got the vaccine, or if I was in some sort of hamster bubble away from the crowd. It's going to be interesting seeing the things people come up with to protect themselves for IRL shows, but I'm personally not doing anything without a hard barrier or enough distance between me and the crowd.
You also just released a music video …
Rainbow Bath House was a full-building art installation and artist co-op space in Joshua Tree. My director, friend, and fellow musician Precious Child is friends with the creator, Marina Fini. She also designed the butterfly ring I’m wearing in the video! I was staying in LA and the car ride was about 3 hours away from the city. Fun fact: I had strep throat that whole time filming in late January.
Precious did such an amazing job on the video … she really captured the ethereal vibe of the track with her editing, the colors are so angelic and delicate. She said she got lowbrow art movement vibes from the finished product and I agree. It’s such a beautiful music video in contrast to the lyrics – which are about chaotic mental health and the struggle to get better.
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