Local musician Austin Brown released his first solo album on Sept. 4 under the pseudonym Ollie Kitsch.
The album, “Empty Spaces, Empty Places,” consists of 15 songs that range anywhere from indie/alternative to pop/punk. Within the first week of its release, the album gained more than 300 listens, and the number is continuing to grow every day.
This passion project took Brown a total of three years to perfect from start to finish. One song on the album, “Up In Heights,” was written with fellow musician Liam Shatzer back in 2018.
Brown chose the name Ollie Kitsch because the name Ollie is a tribute to a former band that he was a member of, known as The Sleepless Oliver’s, and the word Kitsch means “art that is appreciated in an ironic or knowing way.”
Brown first got into music when he was around 8 years old by taking guitar lessons and doing impersonations of one of his musical inspirations, Elvis Presley. Some of Brown’s current musical influences are The 1975 and Harry Styles, as well as The Beatles and Bob Dylan.
When asked if there was any interesting stories behind any of the songs on the album, Brown chose not to share by saying, “everyone else is going to have their own interpretation, I don’t want to ruin that for them.”
Brown strongly believes that all art is up to the interpretation of the listener and wants everyone who hears the album to figure out what these songs mean to them. Brown said that if there is anything he wants the listener(s) to take away from the album is that whatever they are feeling or whatever the music makes them think, they are not alone. Music is a way everyone can relate to each other and that is what Brown hopes his listeners can do with his music.
Within the next year, Brown plans to release more solo music under the name Ollie Kitsch, as well as making more music with his bandmates, currently known as Kids Get Scared, in 2021.
Students can listen to Kitsch’s new album on Apple Music, Spotify and Souncloud for listeners to stream. Apple music is only $5.99 when students present their academic email to Apple.