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Angel Olsen - Whole New Mess - Import CD

Angel Olsen - Whole New Mess - Import CD



Indie Folk

August 28, 2020


Regular price $24.00 SGD
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Catalog No.: JAG354CD

JAN/ISBN: 656605235424

Number of Discs: 1

Country/Region of Manufacture: Import


Angel Olsen


An album that close followers of Angel Olsens career likely expected, Whole New Mess presents earlier versions of songs from 2019s All Mirrors, from before they were orchestrated for a 14-piece chamber ensemble and re-recorded. At the time of All Mirrors release, the singer/songwriter was open about having originally conceived it as a double album. Far surpassing the status of demos collection, the fittingly titled Whole New Mess is a spare, aching solo effort -- Olsens first since 2012s Half Way Home -- that completely recontextualizes nine of All Mirrors heavy-hearted songs. Also resequencing and altering the titles of the tracks, it swaps out the remaining two (Spring and Endgame) for two originals. It was recorded in late October 2018 with engineer Michael Harris at the Unknown, a seaside Catholic church turned recording studio in Washington State established by Mount Eeries Phil Elverum and producer Nicholas Wilbur. The resulting work is less like Gus Van Sants nearly shot-for-shot update of Hitchcocks Psycho and more like if John Cassavetes had originally directed Titanic. The original song Whole New Mess opens the album with a weary, howling rumination about efforts to get back on track, set to rhythmic strumming. The character of the recording is as if someone in the pews captured a miked singer and amp setup at the altar. The rest of the album continues in kind, with Olsens dramatically nuanced vocal performances at least bordering on spellbinding throughout. Appearing midway through the track list, the other original song, Waving, Smiling, is a minimalist guitar waltz that mourns a forever that didnt last. Arguably the most devastating entry here is her solo Chance (Forever Love), a song whose sibling closed All Mirrors but which serves as Whole New Mess penultimate track. Its leaping melody and, this time, acoustic arpeggiated triplets become more and more haunted over the course of the song as the echo becomes more pronounced. Whole New Mess wraps with the comparatively jaunty What It Is (What It Is), an All Mirrors chamber rock song that reveals itself to be a classic folk-pop round at heart. It leaves listeners with an implied shrug and lingering stare. Managing to be uniquely stylized and engrossing while stripped bare, Whole New Mess not only works in isolation, it deserves equal footing in Olsens discography. ~ Marcy Donelson


1.Whole New Mess
2.Too Easy (Bigger Than Us)
3.(New Love) Cassette
4.(We Are All Mirrors)
5.(Summer Song)
6.Waiving, Smiling
7.Tonight (Without You)
8.Lark Song
9.Impasse (Workin' for the Name)
10.Chance (Forever Love)
11.What It Is (What It Is)

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