Gatefold LP with poster. Includes MP3 download of album
Angel Olsen’s 2016 marvel, ‘My Woman’, had been a career breakthrough but it catalysed a period of personal tumult, too: a painful breakup, an uneasy recovery, an inadequate reckoning. At home in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Olsen penned songs that finally grappled with these troubles, particularly love. These heartsore explorations shape ‘Whole New Mess’, Olsen’s first solo album since her 2012 debut and an emotional portrait so intimate and vulnerable you can hear her find meaning in these crises in real-time.
At least nine of the eleven songs on ‘Whole New Mess’ should sound familiar to anyone who has heard ‘All Mirrors’, Olsen’s grand 2019 masterpiece that earned high honours on prestigious year-end lists and glossy spreads in stylish magazines. ‘Lark’, ‘Summer’, ‘Chance’ - they are all here, at least in some skeletal form and with slightly different titles. If the lavish orchestral arrangements and cinematic scope of ‘All Mirrors’ are the sound of Olsen preparing her scars for the wider world to see, ‘Whole New Mess’ is the sound of her first figuring out their shape, making sense for herself of these injuries.