EP Review

Angel Olsen - Forever Means

A masterful record that requires and rewards patience.

Angel Olsen - Forever Means
Long-time Angel Olsen fans might be surprised by this EP, which can only be described as subdued lounge jazz. It’s a sign of her remarkable talent that she pulls this off without any hint of novelty, instead delving deeper into her trademark bittersweet songwriting. ‘Nothing’s Free’ opens proceedings with husky piano and drums, representing a strange departure from her usual dark pop guitars. Something has come over Angel’s voice too, with this outing seemingly more longing than on previous releases. She reaches Nina Simone heartache, or Elizabeth Fraser flourishes over the sparse percussion of ‘Time Bandits’, the latter demonstrating just how versatile a voice she has. Come closer ‘Holding On’, Angel gives us the closest thing to a typical song of hers, but the driving guitar never lets go of its fragility, only tantalising with occasional wisps of strings. Really, that is the secret of the EP: in its quietude, an unshakable tension builds that resists breaking into anything bigger. Perhaps a less confident artist would be tempted to finish on a grand crescendo, but Angel Olsen has made a masterful record that both requires and earns a little patience.

Tags: Angel Olsen, Reviews, EP Reviews

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