The Rochester indie pop singer-songwriter has released an inspirational new single, “Better,” introduced a new artist name (from Olivia Millerschin to Olivia Dear) and received a grant from the TIDAL music streaming service.
“This has really given me a shot to do that. I know that what I’m gonna do is gonna always be me. ‘Olivia Dear’ is great because it separates me-the-artist from me-the-person because ‘Olivia Millerschin’ felt like I couldn’t release anything that ‘Olivia Millerschin’ wouldn’t think of or make,” Dear said.
“‘Olivia Dear’ has allowed me to take a step back personally from it. I think in general the music is gonna be the singer-songwriter, pop and indie side of things, but just a little bit more produced than my previous work.”
Dear will share a wealth of new and old favorites from her three-album catalog during her March 20 “LIVE!” headlining set at the Farmington Civic Theater in Farmington. She’ll be joined by longtime bandmates James Pyne (trombone, vocals), Brian Reilly (guitar) and Bob Mervak (keys, vocals) while West Bloomfield singer-songwriter Adam Liebman will open the show.
“For a show with a quartet in a nice, intimate room, we’ll do mostly like broken-down versions of the new music and my last record. The band and I have been working on some new cover stuff, so we might throw one or two of those in there just for fun,” said Dear, who also plays ukulele, piano and guitar.
Olivia Millerschin will perform a holiday-themed show in Howell tonight and sign copies of her new children’s book, “Cactus on a Ledge,” in Saline Saturday afternoon at McPherson Local.
The Auburn Hills indie folk singer-songwriter will share her renditions of holiday and jazz standards while playing selections from her own catalog at 7 p.m. tonight inside the Howell Opera House, 123 W. Grand River in Howell.
Built in 1881, the Howell Opera House is a historic landmark in the city’s downtown, and the iconic venue’s first floor was renovated in 2006 for live shows and events.
For her Howell show, Millerschin will be joined by musicians James Pyne (trombone), Brian Riley (guitar) and Bob Mervak (keys).
“I have a couple of original songs and others that have been done by some of my favorite artists that are lesser known,” said Millerschin, who’s performed at the Howell Opera House twice before. “We’ll have some holiday classics by The Carpenters, and then we’ll play some of my own stuff.”
“This is the first official store that’s going to be carrying the book, and it’s owned by these incredible people,” Millerschin said. “It’s all Michigan made products, so we just thought, ‘What better place is there to do this?’”
Millerschin didn’t initially plan to write a children’s book. Instead, she wrote an introspective ballad of the same name about a cactus who wants to become a tree, but soon realizes it’s cooler to be herself. After writing the song, family, friends and fans encouraged Millerschin to turn it into a children’s book.
She teamed up with a Matter of Fiction Publishing and artist Kathrin Honesta to compile and illustrate the book, which also includes a companion CD of the “Cactus on a Ledge” song. Honesta also did the cover art for Millerschin’s critically-acclaimed 2016 album, “Look Both Ways.”
To promote the book and song, Millerschin plans to visit local independent book stores, libraries and elementary schools in the coming months. The book will be sold in local shops, at shows and through Millerschin’s website.
“I just wanted to have something really organic and show the people who have supported me from the beginning first,” she said. “I sold almost an entire box of books at The Scarab Club in Detroit last Saturday during Noel Night.”
In addition to her upcoming book tour, Millerschin plans to record and release a live album soon.
“I’ve had a lot of frustration with making new music, and I’ve always had trouble with getting the right production down,” she said. “I’m at a point where we should just sing live with the full band, get right in the studio and release it that way. We’re going to be releasing a lot of new stuff, but just the live versions of it.”
The Auburn Hills indie folk singer-songwriter will play for 400 people at The Chapel, a historic theater located inside the Detroit Masonic Temple that’s designed as a smaller scale replica of Westminster Abbey.
It’s symbolic of the original abbey where the knights of the round table likely gathered before they went to battle. “They actually have a stained-glass window, and they’ve had it blocked off because it was for knighting, but they just broke down the blocked off part, and now you can see the light,” said Millerschin, who teamed up with Fusion Shows to select the iconic theater for Saturday’s show. “The stones in the chapel room are rounded on the edges because they wanted it to look like knights had been walking on them.”
During Saturday’s show, Millerschin will breathe new life into the historic venue and perform a set of timeless heartfelt songs from her critically-acclaimed 2016 album, “Look Both Ways.” She’ll also debut seven or eight new songs and feature special guest performances from Ann Arbor folk singer-songwriter Chris DuPont and Nashville pop singer-songwriter Jilian Linklater.
“I’ve got tons of new music, and I’ve been so focused on the children’s book that I haven’t recorded it. It will be cool to debut it live in front of people and see what they think of it,” said Millerschin, who grew up in Rochester as a classically trained opera singer and started writing songs at age 13.
“Chris is one of my favorites, and he’s an incredible artist. As for Jilian, I played a show in Nashville with her the last time I was there, so I decided to throw her on this gig. I think people are going to like both of them.”