The breathtaking songs of Angel Olsen’s fifth album are fleshed out by a 12-piece string section and deliver grand gestures about romance, authenticity, and being simply at the mercy of how we feel.
Angel Olsen is a natural at writing mantras for jaded souls. While her music has evolved from lamp-lit folk to boisterous rock’n’roll and ritzy synth-pop, she has always emphasized the importance of self-conviction. This steadfast philosophy, coupled with how wryly she appears to withstand heavy emotional weather, has made Olsen talismanic to fans. But halfway through the tour for her 2016 album My Woman, a messy fallout from a breakup made Olsen realize how disconnected she had become from herself. She decided to make her next album as she had her earliest releases, working almost alone (in remote Anacortes, Washington) to focus on bare-bones songwriting. Once finished as a ‘solo’ project she decided to add the string section to flesh out the songs to superb effect, though she may still release the ‘bare bones’ edition down the track.