CD Review: Micah Olsan “Open Space”

Posted: January 26, 2018 in Music
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Micah OlsanMilwaukee-based singer-songwriter Micah Olsan has gone through several stages in his musical career. And with those stages came different musical influences that helped flavor his music. Throughout his career, Olsan has performed with a band called The Many and he has performed on his own as a solo artist. But with each stage comes a different style and sound to Olsan’s music. And currently, Micah Olsan is in the middle of promoting a new EP of music that features a solo sound and style largely influenced by Folk music. The new 4-song EP from Micah Olsan is entitled Open Space.

Where the previous releases from Micah Olsan featured the singer-songwriter performing with an entire band as was the case with the All Around release featuring Micah Olsan and The Many, the new EP features a much simpler style to the music. The Open Space EP features Olsan in a solo setting as he writes music that contains a solid Folk influence created around an acoustic feel.

Open Space from Micah Olsan begins with the title track to the EP. “Open Space” is a track that takes Olsan’s music back a few decades as the style of the track feels like it would fit in perfectly with songs from the late sixties, early seventies on AM radio. The music for the track brings to mind artists such as John Prine and/or Tom Paxton. The simple guitar approach on the track is amplified when the steel guitar is added to the track. The guitar/steel guitar combination creates a song that is instantly listener friendly. “Open Space” is a great track to start off the new EP from Olsan.

Micah Olsan’s Open Space EP continues with the track “To the Moon”.  While the previous track features a throwback feel to the music, the track “To the Moon” has a very modern feel with the influences to the song including Jack Johnson and/or Ray Lamontagne. “To the Moon” contains a soothing, almost jazzy feel to the music which is helped along with the inclusion of the flute on the track. “To the Moon” finds Olsan in a rather romantic mood on the track as he creates lyrics with very poetic appeal to them. The combination of the jazz/folk music and the poetic lyrics help to create a track that comes across as “poetry set to music”.

With the next track on the EP, Micah Olsan changes the direction of his music. While the previous songs were created around an acoustic guitar, the track called “Dollar” is centered on a lightly played electric guitar that is accompanied by an acoustic guitar. While the acoustic guitar on the track creates the rhythm for the track, the electric guitar is what truly makes the track. The combination of the electric and acoustic guitar ends up creating a track that takes on a slightly exotic island-like feel to the music. The inclusion of the saxophone on the track also gives the track a little ambiance that matches up well with the aforementioned island feel. The “Dollar” track ultimately feels like something from brothers Santo and Johnny Farina of “Sleepwalk” fame if they had become known for songs that featured lyrics.

The newest release from Micah Olsan comes to a close with the track “Palace of the Setting Sun”. Olsan brings his new EP to a close with the song that contains the most production quality of any track on the release. “Palace of the Setting Sun” begins with an extended instrumental break featuring the guitar work of Olsan. The fingerpicking from Micah Olsan creates an acoustic track with a jazzy approach thanks to the acoustic guitar. The inclusion of a little reverb on the track adds a little texture to the otherwise laidback music. The track feels rather expansive through its six-minute playtime. The extended time allows for the singer-songwriter to show off his picking style on the track. While the track contains the longest playtime on the EP, Olsan’s playing keeps the listener enthralled during the longer-than-usual track.

During his time as a singer-songwriter, Micah Olsan keeps evolving and changing his style. With his latest folk-based EP called Open Space, Olsan takes his music in a much different direction than it’s ever been in before. And the softer, gentler side of Olsan shows off a very different side of the artist. The five tracks on the album are nicely varied while keeping that lighter approach on the music.

To get a taste of Micah Olsan’s new EP called Open Space, check out the EP’s title track HERE

For more information, check out Micah Olsan’s PR firm, NoVo Management and Publicity

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