Album of the Week: Angel Olsen - Big Time
Americana-folk indie-pop singer-songwriter extraordinaire releases her most personal and powerful record to date
Oozing with passion alongside an underlying sense of contentment and comfort in self Angel Olsen's stunning sixth album, Big Time, has come after a particularly big time in the Americana indie pop star's life. After coming out to her parents, both tragically passed within a few months, with recording starting less than a month after her mother's funeral. As expected, Big Time covers a lot of ground emotionally however often times in more subtle ways than some of Olsen's past records.
Opening with All The Good Times and the eponymous title track, Big Time opens with smooth country-Americana-pop sounds, with slide guitar and laid back drums accompanying Olsen's vocals, with restrained openings giving way to huge sing-a-long choruses. Dream Thing and Ghost On take this style and slow things down a tad, before giving way to the album's middlepoint, the stunning piano & string ballad that is All The Flowers.
The album hits "peak Angel" on Right Now and This Is How It Works, two songs that show Olsen's knack for writing undeniably epic, instantly memorable, catchy alt-country influenced pop music has continued to develop, with either one of these surely a post-album single and sure to become life favourites.
Go Home brings the energy back down, ever so slightly, before the album closes out with more absolutely epic piano balladry in the form of Through The Fires and perfectly poignant closer, Chasing the Sun, to bring an appropriately affecting close to an album full of passion, soul and intensity.
The best of the rest of this week's records:
Andrew Bird - Inside Problems [Loma Vista] USA
Folk / Indie
Fantastic Negrito - White Jesus Black Problems [Storefront Records] USA
Blues / Roots
GWAR - The New Dark Ages [Pit Records] USA
Rock / Metal
Horsegirl - Versions of Modern Performance [Matador / Remote Control Records] USA
Indie / Rock
Merzbow & Lawrence English - Eternal Stalker [Dais Records] JAP / AUS
Mondkopf - Spring Stories [Independent] FRA
Poliça - Madness [Memphis Industries] USA
Indie / Pop
Post Malone - Twelve Carat Toothache [Mercury Records] USA
Purity Ring - Graves [The Fellowship] USA