By Brad Simm
After the overwhelming success of her breakout album, Woman, it’s of peculiar interest that Angel Olsen didn’t set her sights on scaling the same illustrious pillars of pleasing pop.
Gone is her silver tinsel hair and roller rink messing around that adorned the video for her hit single, “Shut Up Kiss Me.” In its place, Olsen’s wardrobe and new persona ventures into an ethereal realm of 60s noir with long black dresses and wind-swept lace vails floating effortlessly as she slowly whirls across a stark white backdrop. Such is the mood swing from the first video featuring the title track off All Mirrors.
The segue into the album’s sonic texture is a strange mix of strings that swoop and swell anchored by synthesized keys and drums. Competing and complementary forces that veer into a collision of vintage sci-fi surrealism straight off the original Star Trek show and the dreamy, icy elegance of gothic black and white cinema. What’s truly compelling about All Mirrors is its commanding presence that travels deep into a cavalcade of imaginary dimensions.
Along with the distinct trans-world look and sound that dominates Olson’s current creative space, she weaves and careens through lengthy, entangled ballads exploring a complicated heart. Her heavy breath that leads off “Endgame” sums up the post-modern condition of her soul… “I needed more, needed more than love from you.” The Beatles got it wrong, as Olsen casts us into her brave new provocative universe.
Best Track: What Is It