There’s a famous 1967 book on transactional analysis by Thomas Harris called ‘I’m OK, You’re OK’. You may have heard of it or taken one of the psychological tests which arose out of it. The worst of the four scenarios you can be in is ‘I’m not OK, You’re not OK”. If you get to that stage, you’ve got real problems.
No such issues for Norwegian Ola Village, who released his debut single on 11th November. He grew up in a sedate small town – I guess that’s how he got his moniker - where everything moves a little slower than in the city, roaming free, “finding himself” to use the latter day expression. There he found the contentment necessary to write and release a song called ‘A OK’. Everything is all right. Alles Klar.
It was written and produced in his home studio, and is “a song rooted in positivity; self-belief, hope, dreaming big, and believing everything will work out in the end.”
“I haven’t left this room in 30 days” he reminds us several times during the song. Welcome to the wonderful world of lockdown, Ola. But everything’s A-OK because he’s merely cooped up therereminiscing about having fun in bygone summers and recounting dreams of "making lemonade with Kanye West". I can think of better ways of passing a month in one place but to each his own.
The press release for the song attributes his style to being somewhere close to the Beach Boys and I get that, at least in the chorus. But its over-riding attraction (or distraction, depending on where you are coming from) is the sentimentality. For that reason I’d even put it in the same bracket as Lukas Graham’s ‘7 Years’. When I did the review of Löv’s latest single a few weeks ago I pointed out how sentimentality can be a turn off for me but just as that song had more than enough saving graces to keep me well onside it is much the same case here.
What I don’t get is the cacophonous opening section of random distorted sounds and voiceovers unless it supposed to represent some sort of carefree village fete in A-OK land (the voiceovers form the outro, too). The basic melody would have done just fine.
There is a serious side to this. He says working in music has definitely not been easy with everything going on this year and as a result he was gradually losing motivation for it, something he’s never been even close to feeling before and had started picturing himself doing other things. I suppose that applies to many people. But that changed after he befriended the person that mixed the single, so the song is now really about hope.
Ola has been making a name for himself already by winning the country's new-music competition ‘Urørt’ (‘Untouched’) with previous winners and nominees including girl in red, Pom Poko and Sløtface.
‘A OK’ is out now, with an EP planned for release in 2021.