Reviews

Angel Olsen
Phases

(Jagjaguwar)

6/10

Angel Olsen has come a long way. Since the days of her debut EP ‘Strange Cacti’, she has moved away from her stripped-back folk origins, widening her scope until, finally, last year’s ‘My Woman’ blew the whole thing wide open. Her new record, ‘Phases’, is really a place-holder – a collection of rarities from her career, from off-cuts at the recording sessions of ‘Strange Cacti’ through to her contribution to the political compilation record ‘Our First 100 Days’.

‘Phases’, then, should encapsulate Angel Olsen in all her guises but there isn’t much hint of the stripped back rock of her first two records, and no trace of the ’80s pop glam that made ‘My Woman’ sparkle. Instead, the record is dominated by the muted folk that started her career. The best use of this is ‘How Many Disasters’, a tender track with bruising vocals and introspective lyrics. But it’s ‘Sweet Dreams’ that is the record’s standout, as it deviates from the theme with a harder rhythm and ’60s drenched guitar work. This is where Angel Olsen is at her most dynamic, and ‘Phases’ could have used more of it to break the mould.

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support the costs of what we do (the printing and server fees, the podcast and video production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for is a recurring payment of £3 per month for UK subscribers. If you really start to hate it you can cancel at any time. The same goes for European subscriptions (£6 per month) and the rest of the world (£8 per month).

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door, and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.