Angel Olsen — All Mirrors (Oct. 4th, 2019)
••→ Sestup do tmy je přeneseným významem slova, slovního spojení, slovní vazby, morfému nebo jiného prvku jazyka. Může být projevem spontánního vývoje jazyka, ale i projevem abstraktního myšlení, tvořivého používání, v krajním případě je uměleckým výrazovým prostředkem, zejména jako básnická figura. To vše najdeme skrz naskrz v historii, literatuře a filmu. Ale nad tím je také propast. K dispozici je točité bílé schodiště, které se točí vždy nahoru do velkého neznáma — každý krok, každý tah, vyžadující větší smělost a sebevědomí, než ten předchozí. Na této cestě najdeme Angel Olsen. Angel Olsen’s love songs always come with the suggestion that eternal love is impossible. On her fourth album she looks to herself for solace (El Hunt)
Born: January 22, 1987, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Origin: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Genres: Indie folk, indie rock, alternative country
Instruments: Vocals, guitar, keyboard
Location: Asheville, North Carolina
Album release: October 4th, 2019
Record Label: Jagjaguwar
01 Lark 6:18
02 All Mirrors 4:42
03 Too Easy 2:57
04 New Love Cassette 3:26
05 Spring 3:23
06 What It Is 3:16
07 Impasse 4:23
08 Tonight 4:38
09 Summer 4:05
10 Endgame 5:20
•• The descent into darkness is a trope we find time again across history, literature and film. But there’s also an abyss above. There’s a winding white staircase that goes ever upward into the great unknown — each step, each turn, requiring a greater boldness and confidence than the one before. This is the journey on which we find Angel Olsen.
•• Olsen’s artistic beginnings as a collaborator shifted seamlessly to her magnificent, cryptic~to~cosmic solo work, and then she formed bands to play her songs, and her stages and audiences grew exponentially. But all along, Olsen was more concerned with a different kind of path, and on her vulnerable, Big Mood new album, All Mirrors, we can see her taking an introspective deep dive towards internal destinations and revelations. In the process of making this album, she found a new sound and voice, a blast of fury mixed with hard won self~acceptance. “In every way from the making of it, to the words, to how I feel moving forward this record is about owning up to your darkest side,” Olsen said. “Finding the capacity for new love and trusting change, even when you feel like a stranger. This is a record about facing yourself and learning to forgive what you see. It is about losing empathy, trust, love for destructive people. It is about walking away from the noise and realizing that you can have solitude and peace in your own thoughts, that your thoughts alone can be just as valid, if not more.”
•• “I don’t know if it’s something I inspire or attract, or if it’s just in the way I’m looking at my surroundings, but drama is something that surrounds my world and always has,” admits Angel Olsen, and there’s something refreshing about the acceptance of this self-analysis. When considered against the background of her music, it’s illuminating – Olsen’s four LPs to date are overflowing with emotional turmoil and doomed romance, themes that might have grown tiresome were it not for her evident optimism and relentless passion.
•• All Mirrors retains a good amount of iconic devastation. Olsen’s timeless, musing lyrics are wise as ever, if perhaps more cynical than before. Yet there is a new, almost paradoxical, quality to the sound, as though it comes both from the past and the future. Dramatic orchestral arrangements combine with shimmering, otherworldly effects to produce an unpredictable and slightly unsettling atmosphere. Olsen’s usually warm and starkly human vocals are unfamiliar, almost alien.
•• The record takes its name from what Olsen sees as a life~long theme: the reflective, subjective nature of living and “how we are all mirrors to and for each other.” Opening track Lark is a steady, measured beginning to a record that is anything but — at first reminiscent of the expansive My Woman until it explodes into this new, limitless orchestral soundscape. Mid~song there’s relief in a melody borrowed from How Many Disasters, an early demo which appears on Olsen’s B~sides record Phases.
•• Tonight returns to the purity of Olsen’s vocals, quiet and tender as though whispered into the ear — although the swirling orchestral arrangement is oversweet, leaving too little to the imagination. Spring is a strange pleasure, simultaneously familiar and new, all the pouring poeticism undercut by barrelling, otherworldly drums and synths.
•• The record is closed by the heroic, symphony~like Chance. The track is dotted with lyrics quoted from previous records — ‘What is it you think I need? / I wish I could believe’ — and whether intentional or not, it seems to bring all of her music, all of her misery, to a catastrophic head.