‘I Could Be Blossoming Instead’, the debut album by Danish artist Gurli Octavia, is released by Integrity Records (UK, Ireland, USA) & eighteighteightyeight records (Rest of world) on 29th January 2021 on all digital platfroms and as a double vinyl album with bonus tracks.
It’s a deeply personal record filled with grief and emotion, but also liberation and hope for the future. Most importantly, it shows Gurli Octavia as an independent artist who dares to take the lead and show the world how she feels.
Three EPs, numerous tours in the Nordics and festival slots at the likes of Roskilde and SPOT have shaped Gurli’s heartfelt, acoustic and organic sound but in 2020 she broke new ground with 3 singles from the forthcoming album and, in a word, with ‘liberation’: Liberation both in the choice of songs on the album and in the production of the songs, but most of all a liberation from other people’s attitudes towards Gurli Octavia as a person and as an artist.
As the basis of the album took shape, the self-proclaimed ‘people-pleaser’ with doubts about the strength of her own songwriting made a decision to take control, a mentality also reflected in the title of the album. ‘I Could Be Blossoming Instead’ is a reference to the feeling Gurli had when life became a little too black and unmanageable, and she just had to hide – sometimes under the duvet but more often in drink and drugs. She explains:
“I would have that ‘I could be fucking flourishing right now, and instead I’m committing the world’s slowest suicide’ kind of feeling. So the title reminds me that I would rather flourish and that it is by and large a choice; a choice that I have the ability and opportunity to make.”
Penned over a challenging 2-year period which included the death of her father, a messy breakup with her long-term boyfriend and a tendency to self-sabotage, the album includes some songs that Gurli can barely remember writing. But her subsequent engagement in the arrangement, recording and production of the songs has helped her understand and process the grief she’s been through.
“It’s not a classic story of using songwriting as therapy. I’ve just written some songs while it all happened and life thundered past. More recently, daring to have faith in myself in music, and also in life, has been wildly therapeutic and resulted in an album that reflects where I am right now, personally and artistically.”
With respected co-producer Jeppe Pilgaard’s pop leanings providing an additional perspective from that side of the glass, ‘I Could Be Blossoming Instead’ is the start of a new, more independent chapter for Gurli Octavia – both musically and emotionally. But make no mistake: the fervour of Gurli Octavia’s songwriting is still intact – it’s just got an extra, liberating layer.
With airplay for the album’s singles on all 3 Danish national radio stations, including a ‘hit tip’ single of the week for recent single ‘X-Ray’ on the biggest of the 3, following over 1.5 million Spotify streams for her earlier EPs, Gurli hopes that 2021 (Covid permitting) will be the year the wider world finally hears her name.
“authenticity and originality shine through strongly” Bands of Tomorrow
“alluring … fragile and intense” GAFFA
“breathtaking … one to watch” JaJaJa
“a beautifully executed release” GFR