T he days and weeks following the release of an album are vital for any artist. For someone as uniquely intertwined with her own music as Angel Olsen, it’s been a hectic, unrelenting spell, one marked by radio appearances, TV performances and a string of headline shows.
New album All Mirrors is deserving of this attention, however. A dynamic, theatrical, beautifully overwhelming experience, its author remains refreshingly distant from the acclaim lavished on her creation. ‘It surprises me to know how epic it is to anyone,’ she admits. ‘I’m still in that creative phase. It’s a little weird to see it on these end of year lists when it’s not even been out very long. It needs to be out a little bit longer before I really feel its impact.’ Right now her focus is on those live shows – painstakingly piecing together the set, she’s removed some of the lush tapestries that adorn All Mirrors while inserting fresh passages to explore different dimensions within her work. ‘I think performing is so much more intimate than listening to a record,’ she insists. ‘I’m glad people listen to the records, but it’s a challenge for me to put myself out there and sing a certain way and look them in the eye. It’s a really wonderful gift, and I’m really happy that I have been able to do it for so long.’
Performing live comes with its distinct challenges, though; for such an assertive creative voice, Olsen admits to a certain degree of self-consciousness onstage. ‘It’s always nerve-racking playing
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26 THE LIST 1 Feb–31 Mar 2020