Review

Angel Olsen

Forever Means

Jagjaguwar • 2023

At first glance, it’s hard to believe that the four songs on Angel Olsen’s new EP »Forever Means« are supposed to be leftovers from the sessions for her hugely successful album »Big Time«.  Already the opening track »Nothing’s Free«, on which the US-American uses no more than a whisper of a voice accompanied by quiet piano, is far removed musically from the Americana that defined her last album.  Instead, we have saxophone and the revelation that  a jazz album would probably suit Angel Olsen well.  But what clearly connects the almost 16 minutes with the singer’s previous work is the subliminal, comforting warmth.  

Because even if she does sing, »I’m broken« on the opening track, a little later on »Time Bandits«, she also sings, »The feeling takes over at first it’s surprising/But then I surrender no longer in hiding/I’m having a hard time not falling in love with/The heart of a moment the heart of a moment«, which exudes a certain grandeur with its trumpet. When an ambitious rock ballad featuring an electric guitar intermezzo on the closing track »Holding On« starts to sound like Angel Olsen’s work of old and conveys the feeling of departure, you are completely convinced that there can hardly be anything more exciting than to wait for the next step Angel Olsen will take – no matter whether it’s forwards, backwards or with momentum in a direction that you didn’t even know was possible.