Olive Klug Is Channeling The Queer Experience Through Folk

Olive Klug is part of a new class of folk singer-songwriters queering the genre. With a sound reminiscent of Joni Mitchell and a gift for storytelling like Taylor Swift, the 25-year-old Klug is making music for everybody coming of age in the 2020s.

Klug was drawn to folk as a genre for the authenticity it invites: “I don’t want to be what I’m not, and I think that I’ve never been able to be anywhere besides where I am. I think that folk music allows for that,” Klug previously told INTO. “There’s so much less performance — and I know that music is always a performance — but it feels like a genuine experience. It feels like it’s just, I’m telling you my feelings, you’re feeling this thing with me, and we’re all here together.”

A Portland, Oregon native, Klug’s been writing music since high school. However, their music career only took off once they started posting clips of their songs to TikTok. There, fans couldn’t help but fall for their vivid lyricism and crystal clear tone. They now have more than 167,000 followers on the platform, along with 2.8 million likes.

Now, Klug is gearing up for the release of their debut album Don’t You Dare Make Me Jaded, which promises to speak to anyone becoming an adult in a time like the present, when the future doesn’t often look bright.

“The statement I want to make with the album is, you don’t make me jaded. The world cannot make me jaded,” Klug said.

So far, Klug has released four singles from the album: the optimistic anthem “Out of Line”; the endlessly relatable “Coming of Age”; the gentle ballad “Parched”; and the nature-infused “Casting Spells.” Of the upcoming album, Klug said, “It’s just a genuine representation of the development that I’ve gone through over the past couple of years. And a lot of it has to do with maintaining this magic, childlike wonder for the world into adulthood.”

Queer folk music like Klug’s is having a major moment. They’re one of many up-and-coming folk artists sharing queer experiences through heartfelt lyrics and acoustic instrumentation, including Angel Olsen, Leith Ross, Kevin Atwater, and Odie Leigh, to name just a few. Per their Spotify bio, Klug hopes that their music makes “others feel a little more connected to each other and to their deeper selves.” Or, as they phrased it to INTO, their goal is “to make people cry.”

“That sounds really bad, but I think it’s really important to cry,” they continued. “I think that if I can make people be in touch with things that they are not able to feel otherwise, I have done my job successfully. So yeah, I think that I hope you cry in a healthy way. That’s what I want. I want people to know that it’s okay to feel their feelings and it’s okay to cry.”

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