[sic] Magazine

Angel Olsen – My Woman

Reviewed by Steven L. Minurka

For a select few with a deep love for indie music, My Woman will certainly appeal. As for the rest, this may appeal eventually. I am perhaps the latter, as Angel Olsen‘s music was unfamiliar to me prior to hearing her material, and furthermore I find her sound to be something to sink into, rather than quickly embrace.

The opening track, ‘Intern’, is a nice opener that essentially provides a taste of what’s to come, further enhanced by the following track ‘Never Be Mine.’ The vocal quality from Olsen is what I mean by taking time to sink in – her tone can be at times fair and vibrant. When compared to the guitar-ridden tracks like ‘Shut Up Kiss Me’, her voice feels almost as if it’s in competition with the instrumentals. This approach feels prevalent throughout the album, but not constant. Other times, Olsen’s vocals seem odd, and I mean that in a complementary way. It’s a unique tone that is reminiscent of Patti Smith, Lana Del Rey, and fellow Jagjaguwar artist Sharon Van Etten. Not so much in similarity, but rather in identity and recognition. The mood in her voice can equally be solemn as heard on ‘Heart Shaped Face’ and ‘Sister.’

Lyrically, this album has a primary focus on personal themes – love, dedication, intimacy, and reminiscing. This may feel overwhelming in some areas, but I believe it works fairly well in the already-mentioned tracks, along with ‘Not Gonna Kill You’. It also goes into sentimental territory through ‘Sister’ and ‘Woman’ (which happens to be my favorite track on here), along with ‘Those Were the Days’ and the album’s closer ‘Pops.’

I do not think one can fully grasp this material on a single listen, not when there is such rich quality in both the composition and from Olsen’s vocal uniqueness. My Woman runs under fifty minutes, but the mass of it all feels solid – almost too solid to recognize track after track. This can be both vivid and overwhelming as previously mentioned. Regardless, this album is a listen that’s well worth the time allotted.

My Woman is out now on the Jagjaguwar label.

Official Website