Following her 2014 sophomore success Burn Your Fire For No Witness, Angel Olsen returns with her Jagjaguwar label release, MY WOMAN, and with the addition of a full band, Olsen amalgamates her signature indie-folk with a dash of pop to deliver one of the best releases of 2016.
Upon initial listening, the album starts strongly then declines with the last few tracks lacking the energy of the beginning. The release transitions from a strong, high energy beginning with the backend making for less rigorous listening. It soon becomes clear that Olsen has carefully curated the tracks to cater to vinyl, as an A-side/B-side record.
‘Never Be Mine’ (which is delivered quite matter-of-factly rather than in search of pity) is followed by ‘Shut Up Kiss me’, which instantly defies the undertones of the previous song, with Olsen declaring confidently that she “ain’t giving up tonight”. This track strongly conveys the overall feeling of power and confidence of the album.
Side B opens with the mesmerising ‘Heart Shaped Face’, As the album quietens so too does some of the boldness that is so strongly presented on side A. The minimal instrumentation of side B highlights the quietening heartbreak quivering beneath the surface of the first five tracks to great effect. Overall, MY WOMAN contains more bravado than any of Olsen’s previous works. This isn’t to say that Olsen has not always been critically lauded; MY WOMAN is simply the purest, most confident work that Olsen has delivered to date.
MY WOMAN is out now via Jagjaguwar.