Ahead of new album, Oliver Tree admits the “annoying” success of “Life Goes On” is “a good problem to have”Ahead of new album, Oliver Tree admits the “annoying” success of “Life Goes On” is “a good problem to have”

ABC/Randy Holmes

Oliver Tree’s new album Cowboy Tears drops February 18, and he just released the first single, “Cowboys Don’t Cry.” However, people are still focused on his previous single, “Life Goes On,” which came out in May of 2021. So, while he’s grateful for the song’s success, Oliver admits that, timing-wise, it’s not ideal.

“I think it’s a good problem to have, first and foremost,” he tells ABC Audio. “That anyone cares at all, y’know? I’ve been doing this for 10 years professionally and I’ve been waiting for a moment like that for 10 years. So I have to say I’m thankful anything’s connecting at all.”

“But yeah, in the same breath, it is a little bit annoying,” he adds. “I was hoping to roll out my album around the time that this started taking off.”

As for why “Life Goes On,” from the deluxe version of his album Ugly Is Beautiful, has become his breakthrough hit, Oliver says, “I think it’s probably the simplest chorus by a long shot….I think people that don’t speak English at all can sing along with the chorus, [which] is essentially no words at all.”

He laughs, “A lot of people don’t even know what it says. They think it says ‘onion’ or “nahnee nahnee nah.’ It’s like, is that my greatest lyricism? No. But is it great that finally, there’s something that can be a connection with what’s happening right now? Yes.” 

Especially since, as Oliver notes, he wrote the song seven years ago.

“I think a song like that, it was ahead of its time when I made it, and if I had released it then, I don’t think anyone would have cared,” he muses. “So it’s just a timing thing. And luckily, the timing was right with that.”

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