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Olivia Reid pleads for peace on new single ‘Nightmare Machine’

Following an undeniably relatable series of releases, indie dream-pop savant Olivia Reid is releasing her latest song, ‘Nightmare Machine.’ This track compounds the deeply introspective style Reid is known for as she turns her craftsmanship inward, penning a powerful exploration of experiences from an artist unable to find respite.

In today’s world rife with seemingly constant turmoil, Olivia Reid’s ‘Nightmare Machine’ produces a unique opportunity for listeners to revel in collective restlessness. Its sound balances the expressive vocal palettes of a seasoned singer-songwriter, assembled with electronic accents, complex instrumentation, and strategically articulated layering. Through rich metaphors and colorful imagery, Reid’s lyricism portrays the song’s straightforward subject, sleep, both as a sought-out refuge from turmoil and, paradoxically, an inundating source of fear and distress. This dichotomy is presented through an intensely personal narrative arc, with the strongest sonic movements occurring as Reid pleads with a figurative ‘King of Dreams’ to grant her the opportunity to recover from the unrelenting burdens created by day-to-day life. Reid’s vulnerability is underscored by the repetitive demand, “Dreamworld of my mind, let me let go,” lending a rhythm to the monotony and despair of the emotional state being described. While the song does not offer an explicit resolution to the anguish and exhaustion expressed, it provides an authentic portrayal of these states, validating and deeply connecting with those who have grappled with similar feelings.

Olivia Reid originally started writing ‘Nightmare Machine’ in 2017 but didn’t finalize the song until recently. “I’ve always had very lucid dreams, and that lucidness can very quickly become terrifying whenever my dreams would turn into nightmares,” explained Reid. “The horrifying shooting in Las Vegas had just happened at the time, and thinking of what those families and survivors had gone through – the fear of shootings completely took over my nightmares.” In 2018, Reid mapped out the song’s arrangement and recorded it with several musicians, including Morgan Guerin on saxophone and Jack Schneider on guitar. “The next few years, especially during the pandemic, seeing the gun violence, racism, police brutality, and divisiveness that’s plagued the US — it all seeped into my subconscious, into these nightmares. While the song started as this sort of general plea for a good night’s sleep, I think it has become a plea for peace and rest in general.” In 2022, Reid teamed up with NYC producer So Wylie to bring the evolution of the production to life. Wylie delivers a cinematic and new wave of sound design to the song’s most impactful chorus. Will Brown was then brought in to add additional saxophone.

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