2016, Music

MY WOMAN (2016) by Angel Olsen

I only know Olsen from her cover of “Walls” back in 2020 so I wasn’t sure what I was in for and I must admit that “Intern” through me for a loop. I wasn’t expecting synthesizers.

Of course, that first rack is a red herring, as it doesn’t sound like the rest of the record. The rest of the record is a fairly gritty, rootsy indie rock record. Personally, I’m rarely a fan of the opening track that is a left turn but in our post-genre era I think it’s likely extremely common. She claims she made it to fuck with people, which is both fun and annoying. But I’m over it.

Olsen has a pretty distinct and powerful voice. Occasionally she reminds me of other singers but not too often. She sings with a lot of emotion and manages to do a fair amount within a relatively limited stylistic range (compared to some music I’ve been listening to lately).

The music echoes a grittier ’70s of country and folk rock even when her voice doesn’t – think Neil Young more than James Taylor, though not Ditch Trilogy Neil Young. It’s interesting, though, because critics claim this is a poppier record than her previous ones which makes me want to check out her earlier work. (Should I?) There are definitely moments that recall the poppier end of the ’70s folk rock and country rock spectrum but the thing I like about Olsen’s sound is that she keeps the edge most of the time, often through the guitar effects and playing.

I don’t love the songs so far. There’s only one that really stands out for me as yet. But I like the aesthetic enough that it doesn’t matter and I know the songs will grow on me if I ever get around to listening to it again.


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