Angel Olsen is a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter with a story to tell. And like real life, that story evolves, twists, turns, and heads off into directions that she may not have intended when she first began writing songs as a young teen. And somewhere between the time she joined the band Good Fight when she was 16 to the release of her debut album when she was 25, her story multiplied and became stories. Different avenues and different perspectives but same ‘vehicle.’ Angel’s music comes from a very personal place, yet she still manages to touch on subjects that listeners can relate to. As she knows, if her music comes from the heart, her music will touch other hearts. And that is why Angel Olsen’s story has connected with so many fans and critics throughout the years.
Angel Olsen first came to prominence in 2011 with the release of her debut EP, STRANGE CACTI. She followed that up with the release of her 2012 debut full-length, HALF WAY HOME. She then signed with the Jagjaguwar label and released her sophomore album, BURN YOUR FIRE FOR NO WITNESS, in 2014. The album was her first release to chart in the Billboard 200 (#71) and was also an international success. Her 2016 album, MY WOMAN, was another success and charted in the US, Australia, the UK, Belgium, France, Ireland, Switzerland, and many other countries. Angel Olsen’s 2017 EP PHASES was another success, climbing to #7 on the Billboard Folk Albums chart, and was followed two years later by ALL MIRRORS, yet another international success. After the release of 2020’s WHOLE NEW MESS (which featured reinterpreted versions of songs from ALL MIRRORS), things changed for Angel Olsen. These changes would inform the songs – the stories – that would make up her next album…
BIG TIME, Angel Olsen’s 2022 release, is her first album of new material in three years. The album’s songs were inspired by several monumental moments in her life: finally coming to terms with her queerness and coming out to her family, which was closely followed by the deaths of her mother and father. Dealing with several different opposing emotional milestones inspired every musical moment of BIG TIME. Even if some of the lyrics don’t reference these incidents, they can be felt in the voice, the atmosphere, and in between the notes of each song. However, there is still so much hope on the album. Much like that moment right before dawn arrives, Angel Olsen’s songs feel like she is walking out of the darkness and into the light. Highlights of BIG TIME include the three previously released singles – “All the Good Times,” “Through the Fires,” and the title track – plus “Dream Thing,” “Chasing the Sun,” and “Go Home.” While each track reveals new layers to Angel’s story, the album really needs to be embraced as a complete whole. It is an album that reveals so much of Angel Olsen’s personal journey, but it is a journey that will connect with others. That’s the magic of music.