Artist of the week: Angel Olsen
Angel Olsen is an American indie folk singer and songwriter raised in Missouri and now based in Chicago. Her musical career began in her teenager years with performances in coffee shops in bars in the St. Louis area. She rapidly started to sing and play guitar with Emmett Kelly for his The Cairo Gang collective and notably sang harmonies for Bonnie Prince Billy last two records. After a lesser EP and some cassette material, Angel Olsen released her debut record Half Way Home in 2012, which received rave reviews and prompted comparisons to Joni Mitchell and Connie Converse. Her following record, Burn Your Fire For No Witness (2014), expanded her sound thanks to the inclusion of drummer Josh Jaeger and bassist Stewart Bronaugh in her touring and recording process conferring a garage rock sound appeal that managed to increase the depths and restlessness of her songwriting.
Her new album, My Woman, maintains her usual formula of songs approaching themes of lost, pain and hope, but this time with a new palette of sounds that will surprise some of her fans. From the Lynchian synth medications of “Intern”, to the vigorous country pulse of “Shut Up Kiss Me”, the tropical breeze of “Never Be Mine”, the epic standout “Sister” or the jazzy “Those Were the Days”, Angel manages to deliver one of the best records of a year that has been so far very generous to refined listeners.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.