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Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, Sep 9th, 2016

Angel Olsen: My Woman

my womanAngel Olsen
My Woman
(Jagjaguwar)

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Angel Olsen’s latest album is one of the most buzzed-about records of the year, and with good reason. “I just want to be alive, make something real,” she declares on opening track “Intern,” but that could also be a mission statement for My Woman. Her style is a perfect mix of rockabilly and modern, at once invoking nostalgia while standing apart from the crowd. “Never Be Mine” captures the sensation of pining from a distance perfectly while the music sounds like it’s straight out of the 1950s. Contrasting that, “Shut Up Kiss Me” is delightfully unpolished. Olsen’s voice yelps as she pleads with a lover to forget a fight and focus on intimacy instead. A few songs on the album go beyond the five-minute mark, something almost unheard of in popular music these days. “Heart Shaped Face” is a dreamy, resigned track depicting the end of a relationship. Olsen pulls out notes as her voice wavers, but never breaks. The first half of “Sister” focuses on a sibling connection while the latter half includes only two lines (“Next to you” and “All my life I thought I’d change”) and a hypnotic guitar solo. On “Woman,” Olsen goes from delicate devastation and devotion to defiance as she asks her former lover to “understand what makes me a woman.” This track ties in nicely with the title and the themes throughout the record. Even as Olsen sings about relationships that are mostly failed or imagined, she is finding and claiming her own life. The journey she shares with us is beautiful and complicated.

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Angel Olsen: My Woman