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Portland Musician Olivia Awbrey Takes Her Politically Critical Music Abroad

(Olivia Awbrey)

Portland-based singer-songwriter Olivia Awbrey is embarking on an international tour after the release of a new single criticizing the government and President Donald Trump. 

Awbrey is joining a league of artists sharing their feelings on the state of America after the 2016 election. 

The title of her new single “Don’t Be Alarmed” may seem a little ironic for a song tackling themes of climate change, gentrification and political gas lighting. Awbrey views it as satire.

"That title came from watching Fox News," Awbrey laughs.

Awbrey’s roots are in Eugene, where she attended the University of Oregon and played in a local band. She doesn’t want the political message to alienate listeners, and says her time in the classroom helped prepare her engaging with the numerous reactions to her new music.

"The one thing that I did get out of school when I was at the U of O was how to have a really healthy debate, and how to share differing political perspectives or backgrounds."

The single found popularity in Europe of all places, where it’s made the rounds on British and Spanish blog spots. One of her first stops will be London, where 250,000 people marched in protest against President Trump last week.

Awbrey feels excited to share the music with British audiences, especially as they continue to deal with similar political issues.

"I definitely think it's a greater bonding experience. I think it is really energizing for political movements to have music along with that that can help move it along."

Awbrey will be playing at 9 pm this Saturday at the Hi-Fi music Hall in Eugene.