Posted April 27, 2021 by Jeff in Tunes

Angel Olsen Boxset Chronicles ‘Ascent Into the Uknown’

Angel Olsen Photo Credit: Kylie Coutts
Angel Olsen Photo Credit: Kylie Coutts

Singer-songwriter Angel Olsen will release Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories, a box set featuring All Mirrors and Whole New Mess, plus a bonus LP titled Far Memory and a 40-page book collection on May 7 on Jagjaguwar. To build anticipation, she just put out the single, “It’s Every Season (Whole New Mess).” 

Originally conceived as a double album, All Mirrors and Whole New Mess were distinct parts of a larger whole, twin stars that each expressed something bigger and bolder than Angel Olsen had ever made. Now, with Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories, these twin recordings become one with the full extent of the songs’ iterations: all the alternate takes, b-sides, remixes and reimaginings are here, together. A 40-page book collection tells a similar story, not just through outtakes and unseen photos but through the smaller, evocative details. As if it could be more plainly stated (there’s nothing more), Olsen adds one cover here: a loving, assertive rendition of Roxy Music’s “More Than This.” 

“It’s Every Season (Whole New Mess)” was recorded during the All Mirrors session and is an alternate version of “Whole New Mess.” It has an acoustic backbone and erupts with drums, electric bass and Nate Walcott’s brass arrangement.

Released in 2019, All Mirrors is massive in scope and sound, tracing Olsen’s “ascent into the unknown, to a place of true self-acceptance, no matter how dark.”

All Mirrors is colossal, moving, dramatic in an Old Hollywood manner,” reads a press release. “Recorded before All Mirrors but released after, Whole New Mess is the bones and beginnings of the songs that would rewrite Olsen’s story. This is Angel Olsen in her classic style: stark solo performances, echoes and open spaces, her voice both whispered and enormous. All Mirrors and Whole New Mess presented the two glorious extremes of an artist who, in these songs, became new by embracing herself entirely.”

“[Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories] feels like part of my writing has come back from the past, and another part of it was waiting to exist,” says Olsen. 

If Whole New Mess holds the truths of Olsen’s enduring self, and All Mirrors documents her ascent toward a new future, Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories exists out of time, capturing the whole artist beyond this one sound or that one recording or any one idea.

Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories is limited to 3,000 physical pieces. To celebrate the announcement of the album’s upcoming release, Olsen filmed an unboxing video to show the scope of the package.

Photo Credit: Kylie Coutts