In the history of all music, every artist has had that album. That album that breaks them, that album that showcases their strengths or that album that opens them to a wider audience. For many artists you can tell the moment you hear it, which album is that album. When we first came across the music of Angel Olsen, it already felt like we were getting that album. However, with her new release All Mirrors we’ve realized that we were wrong, as All Mirrors is that album for Angel Olsen. A redefined sound, a grand interpretation, this is the album that proves Olsen is a force that cannot be contained.
Opening with the orchestral notes of “Lark,” Olsen quickly pulls you into her trajectory. The subtleties in the notes, the way her vocals sound like they’re on a grander scale, it’s all glorious. The way the track slowly builds is magnificent, the way it holds is even better. The sound is a new representation of Olsen’s music that feels like we were missing out all those years ago. The grand scale continues throughout the album, sometimes more subtle than others. “Too Easy” has this soft and gentle breathed vocal from Olsen that opens before the electronic drums and bass take this song into a brave new world. In many ways, the new approach makes you rethink what you thought you knew of Olsen’s work.
Many of these songs have such a new route, that it feels like either a reinvention or a new artist altogether. The piano driven tone of “Spring” has a deeper vocal from Olsen that rings perfectly. “Tonight” is faint and mellow, the vocals just notes above the strings creating a finely drawn line. This is the Angel Olsen that was lying underneath, now breaking free in the most fetching way possible.
Where “Summer” has this eighties feel, or how “Chance” feels bare and gut-wrenching, the album falls on your ears flawlessly. Like a showcase for Olsen’s voice, the tracks have the mixture of heft and tenderness that Olsen has always carried in her music. Our favorite track of the ten that make up All Mirrors comes with the dark synthesized notes of “New Love Cassette.” Here we get all of what makes up the album with those little graces that made us fans in the first place. The song gets in your head and stays there, marking the new direction while you just revel in its beauty. The stringed break that comes in creates a stirring moment, intertwining the synths and the orchestra in a way that’s a cut above. There’s so much here to adore, the instrumentation, the arrangements and the vocals all come together, proving that All Mirrors is just that album.
All Mirrors is available to purchase physically on multiple formats directly from Jagjaguwar, it can also be purchased digitally wherever you download music and streamed on all streaming sites. Angel Olsen will be on tour beginning in Saxapahaw, NC at Haw River Ballroom on October 28 and continuing until February 14, 2020 in Glasgow, UK at Barrowland Ballroom. Angel Olsen’s complete tour schedule can be located here.
Image Credits: Photo by Cameron McCool.