‘American Idol’ alumna OSTON plays Lollapalooza and is preparing to release her new record
‘Am I Talking Too Much?’ available Aug. 6
OSTON is coming out of the coronavirus pandemic in a big way.
The singer and songwriter, known as Austin Wolfe to her friends and family in Park City, played the Lake Shore stage at Lollapalooza in Chicago last weekend, and is preparing to release her new record, “Am I Talking Too Much?”
“I am over the moon about Lollapalooza,” Wolfe said a couple of days before she took the stage at the annual four-day music and arts festival that draws upwards of 400,000 each year. “I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do it, but one of the other singers dropped out. So I was lucky enough to be the one to fill the slot.”
Keeping the musical momentum going, “Am I Talking Too Much,” her eight-song sophomore extended play, will hit streaming services at midnight Eastern Time on Friday, Aug. 6.
“I went back and forth about whether or not I wanted to move forward with the songs on the new EP,” Wolfe said. “I’m a songwriter who writes new things every day. Sometimes I relate to the newer things more than the older things, but there was something about the eight songs for this project that I felt were such a defining part of my growing up.”
While Wolfe’s 2019 debut record, “Sitting at the Kids Table,” covered her time graduating Park City High School and going through college, “Am I Talking Too Much” is about the singer figuring out her place in the world, she said.
“It’s the continuation of me growing up, curating relationships as well as figuring out my relationship with myself,” she said. “As I reflected on the songs, I didn’t think it was worth letting them go by the wayside.”
Wolfe and her producer, Drew Polovick, who is also her boyfriend, decided to use their COVID-19 quarantine to work on the songs.
“For the first week of the shutdown, we ended up having a Harry Potter movie marathon and playing video games,” Wolfe said with a laugh. “After that, we decided to spend the time in the recording studio. So we did that every day and finished the project, and I got to be way more hands on than I was on the first project. I think that’s why I’m so proud of it.”
Wolfe actually started writing some of the songs in early 2019.
“The collection is really a big jumble of the last couple of years of my life,” she said. “Some of the songs are really old, and some I wrote pretty recently.”
The EP’s first single, “Lie About You,” is a new song, and it’s about toxic relationships.
“I wrote about my process of how I overcame my insecurities and how I shifted into a new, confident self,” she said. “I also have a couple of more songs about learning how to love yourself unconditionally, and being OK with the weird and quirky parts of yourself.”
That train of thought led to the EP’s title, “Am I Talking Too Much?”
“The title comes from my concerns that I just talk and talk and talk to fill awkward silences of life, even if there is nothing substantial to say,” she said. “At the same time, the title is about finding people to accept who you are. Nobody is perfect, and that is a good thing.”
Self care is a running theme in the songs, and the point, Wolfe said, was made more clear recently when gymnast Simone Biles dropped out of some of her Olympic competitions to care for her mental wellness, Wolfe said.
“I also have seen musicians and singers doing the same thing, and dropping out of festivals and tours because they need to take care of themselves,” she said.
In order for Wolfe to feel the songs she writes, she makes it a point to write lyrics that convey the truth, no matter how nerve-wracking that can be.
“It’s always terrifying every time I write a song that is really honest,” she said. “When I was writing for the first EP, I would try to write as a character. That way I wouldn’t have to be embarrassed or ashamed of some of the things I was saying. But I found out through that process that it’s not what I wanted to be and represent.”
So with the new project, Wolfe decided to be accountable for every word she sings.
“As artists and musicians we really should take on the responsibility of being honest of what’s going on in our brains and lives,” she said. “By thinking from that perspective, I felt I could better help other people in similar situations. And that made it easier for me to be open, even though it doesn’t make it less scary. I mean, every time I release a new song, I’m literally putting a page of my journal online and hoping people won’t rip me a new one.”
Although Wolfe has performed live for thousands of people and was a contestant on season 13 of “American Idol,” she still feels the jitters when she gets ready to step onto the stage.
“Playing live can be pretty scary, especially if you are opening for other artists,” she said. “I recently played one of my first shows back from the pandemic, and I opened for Omar Apollo. So, I was playing to this audience who came to see another artist, and I was like, ‘Hello, new faces. Here is my entire life story. I hope you don’t hate me.’ Even though it was nerve-wracking, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
OSTON’s new extended play, “Am I Talking Too Much?” will be released Friday, Aug. 6, on streaming platforms. For information, visit facebook.com/itsOSTON and ostonmusic.com.
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