You will see my rage.” In her lyrics, Olsen refuses to sweep the transgressions under the rug; the clenching power of her voice cuts a swarm of strings like a knife, like a bird clipping through fog.
angel olsen all mirrors wiki – Tickets For Angel Olsen, Vagabon
The descent into darkness is a trope we find time again across history, literature and film — a protagonist plunging further and further into the depths. Was first impressed with this, then underwhelmed, and now I’m impressed again. A similar arc as I had with My Woman – confirms Olsen albums are proper growers.
The group’s playing is tight and sharp throughout, but Lenker is what makes Big Thief more than just a bar band. Her lyrics are spare and dark, with a poetic sensibility inspired by Anne Sexton and Raymond Carver. Her singing voice is as distinctive as her writing, with a tremulous warble that’s loaded with emotional resonance. Ranging from guttural yowling to barely contained explosiveness, Lenker’s voice is the perfect vehicle for Big Thief’s dark, pretty songs about personal and political wreckage.
The overarching progression of All Mirrors is palpably tense, seemingly always on the verge of erupting. We witness this early via the opener ‘Lark’, where Olsen’s hushed verses give way to crashing drums and vocal fanfare, a “big bang” whose ripple effect can still be felt deep into the record’s run time. All Mirrors is brimming with these kinds of moments – these miniature explosions – although Angel’s voice doesn’t always provide the impetus. On ‘What It Is’, for instance, a sprightly pop beat suddenly transforms into a symphonic whirlwind, replete with experimentally-charged strings that act as an eccentric – but very entertaining – focal point. On ‘New Love Cassette’, it’s when the orchestration bubbles into a frenzy during the final minute before ultimately fizzling out into silence. The common denominator across this experience is Olsen’s keen ear for suspense – how to build it, and how to capitalize upon it.
Angel: What have you learned about the stages of love and how did they inspire this record? How is your heart now? I’ve been trying to take it slowly.
Yeah, I mean it helps a lot. I think I still have a lot of work to do with myself and I can’t put everything into a song, but it felt nice to be able to talk about it and articulate what it means to feel smaller, and what it means for someone to say that they care about me in words but in actions show me something completely different. And I think that’s important to point out. Whether or not it is personal, or it’s personally about me, I’m sure that happens to people all the time – and I wanted to articulate that and make it theatrical.
I don’t know, some people are saying it’s not an easy record to listen to, and others are saying it’s an epic record and a new era for me. I didn’t know what it was going to sound like, and I’m not aiming to be anything bigger than what I am currently. I’m just trying to get back to myself, and part of that process was taking a risk and doing something different and experimental. I’m really happy with the way it turned out. It’s really hard to play, but it’s exciting as well.
The clip is brief but memorable. There are some puzzling retro flourishes. Olsen lip-syncs the My Woman track while wearing an earpiece headset and gazing straight into the camera. She checks herself out in a dressing-room mirror. The sleek artifice of the video seems deliberately at odds with the song’s central plea: “I just want to be alive, make something real.” A writer for Flavorwire, Moze Halperin, interpreted the video as a play on the self-consciously “confessional” singer-songwriter videos of the ’90s.
Her unique blend of throwback country influence with a more contemporary indie style provides the framework for her honest compositions which her and her band deliver with a surprisingly refreshing tinge of nostalgia. There is nothing between Angel and her songs. No gimmicky showmanship or showy instrumentals to drown out the message of the music and its because of this that the spellbinding romance of the songs is allowed to bleed out and move the audience.
Whatever the theory, All Mirrors’ truth exists somewhere in-between – somewhere where our subjective experience and perception of time rules over fact. It’s all at once a whirlwind of colliding ideas both past and present, a bold stride into the future, a new sound pushed beyond expectation, an album that marks the passing of time and the changing of minds, a continued rebirth.
On title alone, Olsen’s recent follow-up All Mirrors appears to play with that endless refraction: ironically, people immediately took it in a different direction.
In that moment, Olsen’s voice suddenly, jarringly switches registers. It transforms into a keening wail, almost a scream: Hiding out inside my head, it’s me again, it’s no surprise!” That new voice is like a football team crashing through a paper banner. Everything else follows: A thunderous drum beat, a roar of strings, a storm of guitar fuzz. The volume surges upward. In the song’s video, Olsen locks eyes with the camera as it flies up over her head, taking in the dusky blue foothills around her. It’s a thrilling moment, a bracing widescreen transformation.
Back at the coffee shop the next morning, Olsen is distracted and stressed out. She had to do a last-minute phone interview with an Italian journalist before our meeting, and it’s looking like our planned trip to the Art Institute of Chicago isn’t going to pan out. Instead, we’re going shopping for clothes for a video shoot the day after tomorrow, though she isn’t allowed to tell me anything about it. I feel bad; her trip to Chicago was originally supposed to be a personal one to see old friends. Now it has been ambushed by phone interviews, this music video, and me.
It’s 3pm in Asheville, North Carolina, and Angel Olsen is sipping on apricot brandy. It’s been a long day already,” she laments, adding that she desperately wanted to end her forthcoming European tour in Ireland , to no avail. Every time I play there, I always tell myself ‘This is gonna be a sober Irish show. I am going to be sober.’ But no matter what, I wake up the next day feeling like I am a walking human example of purgatory.
On the set of Olsen’s All Mirrors” video shoot in Brooklyn, Ashley Connor — the collaborator from that barn shoot seven years earlier — stood in the cool, darkened studio, setting up a key shot, in which Olsen would rise up into a room full of mirrors and smoke, passing one reflection after another, her image refracted and multiplied dramatically. The entire shoot had been scheduled for a single day, and the crew was moving from task to task with unflagging intensity, approaching the midpoint of a 15-hour shift. In the adjacent studio, techs were breaking down an ethereal white staircase that Olsen descended earlier in a glittering, sage green Gucci gown, shaggy with tassels. At one point, the staircase had been canceled for budget reasons, but some local carpenters, who happened to be Angel Olsen fans, volunteered to build it at cost.
Having perfected her craft from an early age and discovering her unique tone and incredible range, Olsen began performing at local coffeehouses in St Louis during her teenage years. Taking on backing vocal duties in 2010 with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and the Cairo Gang the albums The Wonder Show of the World” (2010) and Wolfrey Goes to Town” (2011), Olsen toured and recorded with them for much of 2010.
In fact, it’s fatiguing to listen to All Mirrors straight through, which makes it easy to overlook the collection’s highlights: the oceanic torch song Impasse,” with its gothic bass fuzz and buzzing-beehive strings; the St. Vincent-esque What It Is” and its galloping, pizzicato string accents; or the jazz-kissed sprawl Endgame.” Even songs without strings suffer by extension: The foggy ’70s-rock homage Spring”—which boasts piano, Mellotron, and various guitars—is sunk by overly busy instrumentation, while the exquisite French-pop trifle Too Easy” is plush but slight.
Although sporting hooded pajamas and sunglasses, singer-songwriter Angel Olsen (born January 22, 1987) first gained media attention as the stand-out singer from Bonnie Prince” Billy’s backing sextet, the Babblers. Prior to her work with Bonnie Prince” Billy, Olsen first received her first keyboard as a parting gift from her biological mother before being adopted by a foster family. Growing up, Olsen attended many local St. Louis punk rock and noise shows, inspiring her to move out to Chicago where she began learning the guitar and writing her own music. She released her first album, Half Way Home (2012), with critics praising her expansive vocal range and tender, yet heartbreaking lyrics about the loss of a mother figure and selfish betrayal. Due to her debut album;s success, Olsen signed with Jagjaguwar prior to the release of her first full-band record, Burn Your Fire for No Witness.
Angel Olsen is an American indie folk singer-songwriter who, before embarking on a solo career, was a backing vocalist for Bonnie Prince Billy and the Cairo Gang. Following three solo studio albums, Olsen released Phases, a record featuring rare tracks, demos, B-sides and covers.
The record takes its name from what Olsen sees as a life-long theme: the reflective, subjective nature of living and how we are all mirrors to and for each other.” Opening track Lark is a steady, measured beginning to a record that is anything but – at first reminiscent of the expansive My Woman until it explodes into this new, limitless orchestral soundscape. Mid-song there’s relief in a melody borrowed from How Many Disasters, an early demo which appears on Olsen’s B-sides record Phases.
All Mirrors is out worldwide on October 4 on Jagjaguwar. Pre Orders from the Secretly Store come on exclusive opaque aquamarine vinyl. The Jagjaguawar limited and exclusive bundle includes the aquamarine vinyl and the All Mirrors 7″ on silver and black splatter vinyl. The 7″ includes two versions of the album’s title track: All Mirrors” album version and We Are All Mirrors” solo version.
Months before Olsen started work on what would become All Mirrors, she recorded a stripped-back solo version of its songs. Once that was done, she felt free to try something bigger. Without that process,” she said in a recent interview, I wouldn’t have been able to allow this change to happen.” I’m very glad she did.
Addressing this , she stammers a bit, then explains it all matter-of-factly. “I went through a breakup, and my band and team witnessed it,” Olsen says. “Then I wanted to make a record by myself.” So she embarked on a solo tour and revisited her earliest material. “I went back to when I came out with 2012 debut Half Way Home. And remembering that these people in my life were there in the very beginning and no one else was, and just thinking about that part of my life again. I was heartbroken at first. And then I went through this process of realizing I had a community there all along.
The song is even more stunning because it’s bolstered by incisive instrumentation that allows Olsen’s frustration to boil over in a natural, affecting way. Unfortunately, All Mirrors doesn’t maintain this subtlety, in large part because the high-alert string arrangements overpower the album’s dynamics and delicacy. The synth-cloaked New Love Cassette” is dragged down by a plodding tempo that’s exacerbated by these heavy-handed accents, while the nuance of other songs is overshadowed.
Sadly, there’s nothing on Fear Inoculum’Š as immediately accessible or anthemic as past Tool glories like ‘śSober’ť or ‘śThe Pot,’ť but what is here will reward repeated spins, even if listeners initially find themselves waiting for those mammoth riffs to show up, a la ‘ś7empest,’ť or for Maynard to finally kick into high gear, as in the rousing refrain of ‘śDescending.’ť Sure, the quasi-ballad ‘śCulling Voices’ť feels plodding and overlong, and the album’s brief instrumental interludes (‘śLitanie Contre la Peur,’ť ‘śLegion Inoculant’ť) and musique concrĂ¨te pieces (‘śChocolate Chip Trip,’ť ‘śMockingbeat’ť) offer little more than inscrutability for inscrutability’s sake. But if nothing else, Tool deserves some credit for releasing an album as challenging and incrementally rewarding as Fear Inoculum’Š.
The album embraces nostalgia, even if it sometimes feels like that’s all it does. Angel Olsen’s mid-album piano ballad Spring is a neat articulation of All Mirror’s devastating thesis.