A jangly guitar greets the rising sun in Dirk Powell’s video for his new single “Olivia.” It’s a perfect opening, for the video ingeniously follows the arc of a day—from sunrise to sunset—and all the little moments that compose the day—planting flowers, putting up a fence, looking at a photograph, playing music, dancing with our children. Powell’s joyous tune, riding along waves of fiddle, whistle, and flute washes over us, reminding us of the power of memory to situate us in time and to remind us of the timeless character of our lives.
“Olivia” dances brightly, spiraling higher and higher to the refrain: “The song arises with each bright morning/The songbirds cast their quiet spell/You hear their joy but not their warning/Time will pass but time will never tell.” It circles down in the instrumental bridge as it moves to its somber, yet celebratory, final notes.
Powell says: “‘Olivia’ was inspired by seeing childhood photos of the Olivia in the song – old images from the 1970s – and feeling that era merge with this one…feeling how we are still who we were as children and yet are also the adults we’ve become. The song is a question to Olivia…how does your garden grow, will I ever know? It explores the feelings of timelessness that we revel in as children…and wonders if, from that place where the best of life so often resides, waiting for ‘time to tell’ might be a mistake…whether in love or anything else in life. Time not only has nothing to say, it doesn’t exist…children know that, and, if we’ve forgotten, maybe we’d do well to remember. That’s the world of the song…the exploration of love, the beauty of nature around us, the images and feelings evoked by childhood photos of Olivia in the Louisiana of the 1970s, the desire of a return to timelessness…and the unanswered question of whether Olivia will ever be a true love in the life of the singer…though maybe no answer is the answer, in the end.”
The deeply moving “Olivia” could easily be an anthem for these days when our lives rush down the river of time, lost in its churning waters that erase momentary delights—the first glimpse of the sun’s rays, the playful laughter of children, the slow blooming of flowers. “Olivia” appears on Powell’s new album When I Wait for You, which is out on September 4.
“Olivia” and When I Wait For You are available for pre-order HERE.