Almond&Olive (A&O), comprised of singer-songwriters Natalie Alms and Ollie Davidson, creates inspiring songs that span the folk and Americana genres, while also incorporating Alms’ timeless vocals and the duo’s distinct songwriting. Blended together, Alms and Davidson’s voices sound made for each other, soaring and guiding the music through all the ups and downs of these finely crafted songs.
The music on their upcoming debut album, called Standing at the Precipice, features Alms mostly on banjo and Davidson mostly on acoustic guitar, while also deploying highly skilled professional musicians, stalwarts of Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music scene, who provide backing throughout the record. The album was recorded at Kingsize Sound Labs in Chicago with incomparable producer John Abbey, who’s also recorded the likes of Robbie Fulks and Jonas Friddle. Together A&O and Abbey are creating an impressive debut for one of Chicago’s most exciting new bands. To help pay for the album, the duo successfully received funding from a Kickstarter, raising over $10,000 is 30 days from over 110 backers.
The music A&O creates comes at you in waves. Together their voices lay down a solid base and tone, funneling you into succinct chorus melodies that build into a crescendo of rich and powerful harmonies. The end result of each song is satisfying and expressive, weaving together themes of love, fear, hope and loss. Each song’s purpose is to mark a moment in time, and give the listener a glimpse into the lives of these prolific songwriters. It’s a vulnerable look at times, though for the most part the music resolves itself to the basic emotions of hope and love, and let’s you know that no matter how low things get, there is a lift coming soon.
Alms and Davidson met while working in animal welfare. They both share a common interest in helping those less fortunate, including helping abandoned and stray animals rehabilitate and find new homes. The duo first got together to record a theme song for an animal welfare podcast, and quickly discovered after a couple practice sessions that their chemistry together was unique and fulfilling. At each subsequent practice session, Alms and Davidson brought new songs to the table and in what seemed like effortless work, churned out over a dozen songs, many of which are featured on their upcoming debut. After it became obvious that they were meant to play together, they came up with their stage name, Almond&Olive, by combining their real names Alms (Almond) and Ollie (Olive).
The partnership and friendship the duo have formed is genuine and special. They push each other, getting the most out of their experiences together and the music they create. It’s evident every time you see them perform together or just goof around in practice – there is a bond there that is deep and everlasting. They trust each other and trust their ability, and the result leaves all doubts and fears behind. Together Alms and Davidson, Almond&Olive, are standing at the precipice, ready and excited to jump eyes-closed into great unknown.