Angel Olsen – Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories (Download Free album Zip)
It feels off to describe the work of musicians outside of pop as existing within a certain “era” (such nomenclature feels more appropriate for artists whose performance, aesthetic, and merchandising are tied to the lifecycle of a singular record with set start and end dates) yet one can’t help but feel that Angel Olsen’s artistry has existed within a definable epoch since the release of 2019’s All Mirrors.
With last year’s release of its companion LP Whole New Mess, a notably softer effort composed of tracks that would go on to inform the bulk of Mirrors, this era was extended, a secondary demonstration of an artist working through a post-romance depression that substituted bombastic baroque pop production for intimate, solitary quietude. And now with the release of the 4-LP box set Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories, we see the chapter coming to a close, compiling both records (as well as few additional singles) into a cohesive package; Olsen has said her piece (in more ways than one), and the entire saga has been serialized, with a few post-scripts added for good measure.
The most notable addition to this collection is Far Memory, a bonus LP of six tracks: two alternate versions of tracks from Whole New Mess, two previously released remixes of tracks from All Mirrors by Johnny Jewel and Mark Ronson, a cover of Roxy Music’s “More Than This,” and the previously released 7-inch, “Smaller.” These half dozen tracks’ packaging alongside the artist’s 2020 and 2019 full lengths provides a sense of completion to Olsen’s All Mirrors era, and will likely be appreciated by longtime admirers of the Asheville-based artist; the minimalist performances and vocal overdrive of “Smaller” and “More Than This” evoke qualities akin to 2014’s Burn Your Fire for No Witness, and the sauntering list of “It’s Every Season” feels reminiscent of Olsen’s debut record Half Way Home.