When a band or artist announces that they’ll be releasing an album of rarities and B-sides, there’s the tendency to simply assume that, even if it is a solid collection, it won’t be packed with their A material. Angel Olsen seems determined to challenge that presumption. After releasing her album ‘MY WOMAN’ little more than a year ago, she’s gearing up to release a compilation of rare tracks, ‘Phases’.
Leading off the collection is a pair of tunes: ‘Fly On The Wall’, a number originally released as part of Secretly Canadian’s ‘Our First 100 Days’, and ‘Special’, a track originating from the ‘MY WOMAN’ sessions. It’s a robust testament to how strong Olsen’s last album was that ‘Special’ didn’t quite make the cut, because it more than lives up to its name. It’s a bit more lo-fi than what came from that record, propelling itself on rough-strewn guitar melodies and slightly fuzzed-out vocals, but it’s no less emotionally engaging, even from its very first lines: “Want to be someone special/ Something like your mother/ Want to be someone else”. ‘Special’ is proof that, even when it comes to her B-sides, Angel is at the top of her game.