ANGEL OLSEN – ” Nothing’s Free “

Posted: March 12, 2023 in MUSIC

Less than a year after releasing her honky-tonk opus “Big Time”, Olsen is back with “Forever Means”, an EP of songs she wrote and recorded during those same sessions. Lead single “Nothing’s Free” makes sense as a post-Big Time release. Sonically, it wouldn’t have fit within the architecture of the record. It is its own elegant and strange cosmos. “Here it comes / No way to stop it now / I’m broken / Down for you like no one else / No one else,” Olsen sings in a trembling, haunting octave glazed atop a jazz lounge-style piano with horns and organs surrounding her. It’s eerie, queer, gothic and perfect; the ultimate cocktail of grandeur from one of our greatest living songwriters. 

Last year’s “Big Time” brought Angel Olsen to a deeper, truer sense of self than ever before. Borne from the twin stars of grief and love, the album delivered beautiful sense of certainty, the sure-footed sound of an artist fully, finally at home with herself. But within that wisdom comes the realisation that there is no finish line, no destination or static end point to life while you’re living it, and “Forever Means” collects songs from the “Big Time” sessions that hold this common theme. They are, in Olsen’s words, “in search of something else.”

“I was somewhere traveling,” says Olsen, “stopped for a few days and wandering the city, and I was thinking ‘what does ‘forever’ really mean? What are the things I’m seeking in friendship or love, and how can ‘forever’ be attainable if we’re always changing?’” Sitting with the reality of that entropy, Olsen realised “maybe the secret to ongoing love is to embrace change as part of love itself, that forever must have something to do with playing, looking, constantly searching things out for yourself, never letting yourself think you’re finished learning or exploring.”

‘Forever’”, says Olsen, “remains curious while trying also to be kind and honest.” All this packs into the four precious songs that comprise “Forever Means”, songs from Olsen’s roads travelled and the ones ahead. “Nothing’s free / like breaking free” Olsen sings, comfortable with the costs of her clarity, her heart and voice fixed on the present, the future, the not-yet-known and the beautifully unknowable.

“Nothing’s Free” by Angel Olsen from the upcoming EP ‘Forever Means’, out April 14th on Jagjaguwar Records.

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