Angel Olsen by Alberto Zumbido.
It was some months ago, almost a year, when RyZ was about to rise up, when I couldn’t take this record from my mind. One of those CDs that you can’t take from the car, one which was on my agenda as a marked objective. It was no other than “My Woman” by Angel Olsen. Time has passed and in between there have been novelties, come-backs, four-hand written articles… Its place was taken, its little throne intact. “Phases”, a rarities album of B-sides, has put us back on the track and it is due time to dive into Angel Olsen.
“You can't tell a book by its cover“ (Oscar Wilde).
That isn’t always true, dear Oscar. Talking about records I would say that the cover says a lot of what is inside. This is the case with “Phases”, with that cool typography (also used by Experience - who will also appear someday soon in RyZ-) and those five moving images of Angel Olsen, which reflect her from all angles. At least I sense so. I definitely like the cover, calling me to enter…
The problem with “Phases” is that I feel it so very short. Or perhaps that’s its virtue. I went to my cd player to check if everything was right. Of course, you have the option of replaying it again. And in that second audition, it already got stuck into my ears, in a sweet narcotic dream…
I know it will remind you to “Wicked Game" by Chris Isaak. I love both timbres, but…
“Every time I take a breath
Something once living inside me has left
Yes it's alive but it's just passed through
It's just left me and it's just left you on
On your own, on your own”
Without hesitation, I will surely underline the sound of the songs, with that organic aura, non artificial at all, as if the songs were unfiltered. With those silences and rhythms. With that huge start composed by “Fly on Your Wall” + “Special” (both from “My Woman” sessions; the first one also included in the anti-Trump compilation "Our First 100 Days"; and the second, inedit).
She turned her face. “No, you didn’t take me here only to talk about “Phases”.
“That’s true, there was something more. A beginning which brought me here to tell you… but that narcotic dream has kept me knotted in a nightmare I can’t find an exit from…”, I said lowering my eyes.
“Do you remember… (she hums, "I ain't hanging up this time, I ain´t giving up tonight- while strumming her guitar) I could make it all go away, tell me what you think (now it’s not a humming anymore)".
“I’m into it, Angel”, the sentence was left up hanging in the air, directly devoured by a tornado… "Shut up kiss me"
“Do you remember now where we came from, where you found me?” And she shows me “My Woman”, with a shy layer of dust on its cover. “Mea culpa, we will fix it…” (a little blow into your heart)… and the record spins around and with every spin those textures appear again, reminding me of The Breeders’ Pod, of the deep bass lines of The Pixies, with a tornado-like power, only comparable to that of Polly Jean Harvey or the most inspired Courtney (Rock Star).
And at the same time, that sounds to classic rock, to dark pub, to wood, which makes me think of Bill Callahan and M. Ward, even to the big Binnie Prince Billie… creating a bible of brilliant, explosive (and sad at the same time) music, which follows rocky paths with the same agility that it covers high-speed motorways. Though preserving that flavour to wood, old-but-strong oak flavour…
“My Woman” has an initial tracklist which has gained it a position among the brightest records of 2010s. And yes, it’s true, when you are ready for a down (just another "record of songs"), “Sister” begins and…
… and it is then when… (gulping) you can barely say “Fuck it!... This… is… f****** awesome!”
How long has it been? Long and intense. Bliss. You touch the sky and hit the rock-bottom. And I remember Thalia Zedek and Come.
You hit the rock-bottom and touch the sky…
Hit the rock-bottom and touch the sky...
(For more videos, you can check the Spanish versión of this post that you will find here: )