Angel Olsen: “All Mirrors”

Angel Olsen is a master of shifting our perception of her. Each one of her albums has been a sweeping evolution—sonic, musical, conceptual—that has made its predecessor seem humble by comparison. “All Mirrors,” the title track of her upcoming fourth album, immediately sounds bigger than anything she’s done before. Initial listens will leave you overwhelmed by the string arrangement: an ominous, heroic swell over a synthy pulse, the troubled waters that connect the song’s two parts.

Some of Olsen’s songs feel like they’ve always existed—lost country standards or themes from old romantic films—but “All Mirrors” is mostly alien. She centers its movement on just one vocal melody, loosening and intensifying her delivery as if holding onto something delicate in a windstorm. Even her one-of-a-kind voice, the constant through her work, gets coated in silvery new effects.

Underneath all these layers is a deceptively stark composition, a plea for consistency whose cryptic lyrics seem to be carved out of a larger story. In the accompanying video, with imagery that falls between Greek myth and science fiction, Olsen succumbs to a void of demonic hands, undergoes a transformation, and locks eyes with a crowned doppelgänger in some smoky purgatory. She alludes to all these selves in the chorus, describing her reflection as something constantly changing, in danger of disappearing completely: “At least at times it knew me,” she sings, face-to-face with the mystery.

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Pitchfork


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