New Release: Angel Olsen – Alive and Dying (Waving, Smiling)

Photo Credit: Kylie Coutts

Angel Olsen has today unveiled ‘Alive and Dying (Waving, Smiling)’, a song from her forthcoming Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories box set out 7th May on Jagjaguwar. The box set includes All Mirrors and Whole New Mess, plus a bonus LP, titled Far Memory, and a 40-page book collection.

Following the previously released ‘It’s Every Season (Whole New Mess)’, ‘Alive and Dying (Waving, Smiling)’ is a striking, orchestral version of Whole New Mess’s ‘Waving, Smiling’, recording during the All Mirrors session. Olsen’s swelling voice is perfectly complemented by Jherek Bischoff’s emotional string arrangement, featuring an 11-piece orchestra…

Olsen elaborates: “This song is all about chapters closing, and learning to let go of things I can’t understand. It’s very me – I will always nosedive into love, and suffering can definitely come with that. When I hear this version the strings really bring the song to its necessary bittersweet boiling point.”

Originally conceived as a double album, All Mirrors and Whole New Mess were distinct parts of a larger whole. Each expressed something bigger and bolder than Olsen had ever made, and on the Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories, they come together as a full extent of the songs’ iterations: all the alternate takes, b-sides, remixes and reimaginings are presented in one collection. Its accompanying 40-page book tells a similar story, not just through outtakes, unseen photos and the smaller, evocative details: handwritten lyrics, a favourite necklace, a beaded chandelier.

In first speaking about Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories, Olsen said, “It feels like part of my writing has come back from the past, and another part of it was waiting to exist.” 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 is a timeless, definitive collection, of these songs, their revelations and their writer, from their simplest origins to their mightiest realisations.


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