“Nothing gold can stay.” Even as he tried to capture it in verse, Robert Frost appreciated the ephemeral nature of beauty. And so does Grant Olsen. Yet a nod to the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet is only one of the reasons the Seattle-based songwriter—best known as half of the duo Arthur & Yu —christened his new project Gold Leaves. An autumnal character imbues these nine originals. Just as foliage buds, changes color, and eventually falls from the branches every season, so too do themes of birth, death, and regeneration permeate The Ornament.
Like most creative types, Olsen’s muse is always in transition. The album went through myriad permutations between inception and completion. Although he began work on it nearly four years ago, he scrapped the bulk of those early efforts after a bag containing his laptop and notebooks was stolen. The theft seemed a sign. Perhaps he was writing a second Arthur & Yu album? No. In the space of composing and refining The Ornament, Olsen had married, traveled through Central and South America, seen the birth of new family members, and watched a dear one pass. This transitional period was coupled with observations of his nation in flux, all of which informs the universe of this record. While he hoped to open these subjects up in a manner that would permit a broad range of listeners to relate to the sentiments, he recognized that their inciting intimacy precluded turning these songs into Arthur & Yu tunes.
Getting that damn muse to stand still long enough to even decide what The Ornament was, and how it would take shape, was a Herculean task. At one point, Olsen thought it might be…
- No tour dates scheduled at this time.