Review: Angel Olsen’s ‘My Woman’ is an intimate Indie-Folk opus

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Luke Dudrick, Entertainment Editor

My Woman, the follow-up to 2014’s Burn Your Fire For No Witness, is Angel Olsen’s fourth LP, and arguably her best. 

The chilling opening track “Intern” is an icy synth ballad about the cyclical nature of love and life. Olsen essentially describes life as a repetitive process in which we all build ourselves up sadly knowing “something in the work will make a fool of you,” and this goes the same for relationships.

Olsen’s quivering vocals give the song a dark, piercing beauty, and as the vocals fade out, a synth instrumental closes the track. The instrumentation definitely stands out because of the use of synthesizer rather than guitars, but the meditative tone and themes of this song carry throughout the rest of the album.

Relationships are a major motif of the album, whether Olsen is nostalgically reflecting on a relationship past, such as in the song “Those Were the Days,” or falling into the pit of unrequited love in the tracks “Never Be Mine” and Give it Up.” Uncertainty in a relationship plays a vast role in the album’s most distinguished single, “Shut Up Kiss Me.”

“Shut Up Kiss Me” is the fierce, fervent outcry of an obviously strong-willed Olsen, imploring her love interest to not give up on their relationship, singing “This heart still beats for you/Why can’t you see?” The track finds Olsen passionately shouting “Shut up kiss me hold me tight,” channeling her frustration and confusion through her emphatic vocals. The song culminates with the most electrified, bombastic guitar hook on the album, played with an unmatched intensity.

After the punk rock infused “Give it Up” and crooning “Not Gonna Kill You,” the album’s fervor begins to dissipate, but this is not a bad thing. The slowed-down songs on the latter half of the album showcase Olsen’s personal, often poetic songwriting.

The seven-minute tracks “Sister” and “Woman” are both slow-building, but they demonstrate the same emotional transparency that characterizes the entire album. Olsen still channels her thoughts on life albeit in a much more sprawling fashion.

My Woman is a cohesive, bold work from a talented songwriter, very much playing at peak performance.

Rating: 8.5/10