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Sleepover Tour 2022

Updated: Jul 2, 2023

Edited by Marian Mohamed

Odie Leigh performs at the Vera Project for their 2022 Sleepover tour. (Photo/Ella Hicks)


Smoke is thick in the air, turning the Seattle skyline a dark and foreboding gray, but inside of the Vera Project, string lights loop around the stage, shading the room in a warm glow. Rainbow balloons pepper the floor like an elementary school birthday party and a twin bed piled high with pillows and blankets rests onstage. In the house, an undercurrent of excitement ripples through the space as a small crowd – half in pajamas, half in their indie-cottagecore best – gathers for the final show of the aptly named “Sleepover Tour.”


Odie Leigh, Kevin Atwater, and Olive Klug, who headline the show, have spent the last week making their way up the West Coast, playing to increasingly larger audiences of fans, but all three are gracious and friendly as they lead me into the green room to answer my questions. The trio is piled so close onto a couch their knees touch as they joke and build off each others’ stories in a manner that usually comes with years of familiarity – but the three, as it turns out, are recent friends.


“We met on the internet first,” Kevin laughs, tugging at his bucket hat, “and it kind of could have gone south very easily if we didn’t get along – we’re all very lucky that we get along and love each other a ton."


Onstage, their adoration for each other radiates outwards, catching the audience up into the glow. Despite their independent performances, the three remain on stage throughout the others’ sets. They harmonize into a handheld microphone tucked into the bed during each others’ songs and take turns knitting rows onto a lumpy blue scarf that Olive carefully finishes and wraps around Kevin’s neck.


Kevin’s eyes shine as Olive sings about college girlfriends and coming out, and both cheer for Odie (who’d spent half the show resting her head in Kevin or Olive’s lap) when she begins Olive and Kevin’s favorite of her songs: the yet-unreleased “Chutes and Ladders.” Back with me, in the green room, when I asked about their favorite songs, all three were quick to name their friends’ before their own. At any particular moment during the show, at least one of the two on the bed is mouthing the words.


The songs are a mix of crowd favorites and unreleased material, some of which have found a hesitant first life on Tik Tok. Kevin, first up, leaves the crowd breathless. There's a grief to his words that’s somehow simultaneously entrenched in his own life and sucked from the chests of everyone in the room. Songs like “Ashes” and “Startripper” have both the audience and Kevin struggling to maintain their composure: it’s no small feat to make such personal stories feel universal, but Atwater does so with ease.


Kevin Atwater serenades the crowd with his acoustic guitar. (Photo/Ella Hicks)


Olive, in the middle, is a master of storytelling and tongue-in-cheek references. “Raining in June” is a perfect example of their skill – soft, clear vocals perfectly lined with longing and poke fun at both the Pacific Northwest’s lackluster summertime weather and the rose-colored glasses we apply to the past.


They, like Kevin, take joy in making friends with the audience between songs and sips of water, cackling about buying a camelback to perform with as they prepare “another sad one.” Despite the “sad ones” the trio all wave around, there’s nevertheless an undercurrent of hope to every song, a promise that if things aren’t good now, they will be soon. These three are the sorts of people that could convince you that we should not be afraid of this human condition called love, even when it hurts.


Odie’s voice has a comforting gravel reminiscent of the crackle on an old record player. Her choruses act almost as incantations ("all I ask of you is be kind, begs one, I’m crying out for change, screams another") – they are maps out of the trenches, guides, and reminders for bad days. As she sings her last song, her eyes slow-pass, drive-by, over the crowd during the instrumental break. She looks as if she is memorizing this moment.


I didn’t catch the name of the song – it’s unreleased – but she took the time to teach the audience her chorus (her incantation) anyways. When the part we’ve all learned starts up, no one wastes a second before singing with her – not the girls to my right or the person leaning against the wall in front of me or Olive and Kevin onstage, who look as if there is no place in the world they would rather be than watching their friend watching us.


And as Odie sings that last refrain, a plea, and a promise – "I’m gonna take back some of my time again I’m gonna take back some of my time" as we echo it back to her, trying to remember what she said about our lives being our own, Olive and Kevin stand to toss balloons into the audience. They are grinning. Neither looks more than a moment away from tears – neither am I, and neither is anyone around me.


There is a glow to this moment, a hundred and eighty strangers batting balloons back and forth at each other like we are all ten years old again, which makes it impossible not to believe the stories they sing. This world is hard, this world is dark and not everyone is good to you all the time – you are not good to yourself all the time – but there is love, and there is each other, and that is enough. In the end, that will always be enough.


Kevin Atwater’s EP, Retriever, is available on all streaming platforms, and Odie Leigh’s first EP, “How Did It Seem To You?” is out now. Olive Klug’s newest single, “Parched,” is available for streaming along with their 2019 EP Fire Alarm.



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